Ponting announces Test retirement

Updated: Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 10:10

Ricky Ponting has set his sights on a fairytale finish to his Australia career after announcing he will retire at the end of the third Test against South Africa.

Ponting, 37, will call time on a storied international career as the second highest run-scorer in Test history and the most successful captain of all time with 48 Test wins.

He cited recent struggles with the bat as the reason for his dramatic eve-of-Test announcement but holds out hope of a fitting final chapter against the Proteas in Perth.

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"I felt my level of performance has not been good enough" - Ricky Ponting

Victory for the hosts would see them move back to first place in the ICC rankings and Ponting is fully focused on bowing out on familiar territory - on top of the world.

Ponting declined to offer a lengthy retrospective of his Baggy Green career - though he promised that would follow later - and instead outlined his burning desire to secure one last win.

"A few hours ago I let the team know my decision to make this Test my last. It's a decision I thought long and hard about but at the end of the day it's based on my results and my output in this series so far," he said, after scoring nought and four in his last two knocks.

"It hasn't been what I expect of myself or to the level I feel is required for batsmen in the Australia team.

"I continued to play as long as I felt I could contribute to wins but over the last couple of weeks I felt my level of performance has not been good enough to do that.

"My passion and love of the game has not changed one bit over the last 12-18 months, where things haven't been as I'd have liked or pictured them.

"But as far as I'm concerned my immediate focus - and the focus of the team - is on what we're presented with tomorrow. It's an unbelievable opportunity in what is almost a grand final situation.

"I've prepared this week and I'm hungrier than ever. I want this win more than any game I've ever played in.

"If that happened to lead to a win for the team and we get back to the top of the tree and number one in the world then there's no better time to finish."

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