Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting (b 1974), of Launceston, is Tasmania's highest-achieving cricketer. Small in stature, still boyish in face and manner, arguably the world's best fieldsman, he bats for Australia in the prime number three position. He scored 56 on debut for Tasmania at seventeen, and played his first one-day international at twenty and first Test at twenty-one. The highest-averaging Sheffield Shield batsman in half a century, in March 2006 he equalled Zaheer Abbas's world record (set in 1982 when he was 35) of twin centuries in a first-class match eight times. The first Tasmanian to captain Australia's one-day team, he led them to a world-record 21 successive wins (previous best: 11 by the West Indies) from January to May 2003, including their third World Cup, the first where they won all their matches. In 2004 Ponting became Tasmania's first Test captain.

Further reading: P Bailey, P Thorn & P Wynne-Thomas, Who's Who of Cricketers 2nd edition, London, 1993; R Ponting with P Staples, Punter: first tests of a champion, Sydney, 1998; B Frindall (ed), The Wisden Book of Cricket Records 4th edition, London, 1998; E Stokes, 'Records, Milestones and Memorabilia', Break O'Day, Australian Cricket Society, December 2001; Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 140th edition, Alton, 2003, p 1445; R Ponting and B Murgatroyd, Ricky Ponting's World Cup Diary, Pymble, 2003; R Ponting, A Captain's Diary, Pymble, 2004.

Tony Manley