Well before too many people either get too happy or too sad, I should state that Ricky Ponting has only decided to retire from T20 Internationals. He will continue to play and captain Australia in Tests and the 50 over format.(well atleast for as long as the 50 over game continues to be a 50 over game.)
Anyhow lets look at his contribution to the Australian T20 side. He has played 17 matches, scored 401 runs at an average of 28.64 scoring 2 half centuries including the 98 not out in the very first match he played, which till now is the highest individual score in the format.
All that is well and good but under his leadership in the new Format Australia as a team havent acheived the highs that they have in other formats. Famously crashing out in the first round of the recent T20 world cup in England.
Australia have since gone on to lose the Ashes to England, (yay!) their recent performance has seen the team ranked at a Mortal 4, behind S. Africa, Sri Lanka and India.
I am of the opinion that being as good as a batsman that Ricky Ponting is, he is no where near as good a leader. I even question his thought process behind him retiring from T20's. His reason is that doing so will prolong his Test and ODI career. Well in that case why is he still continuing on with his IPL contract? If anything the IPL is more strenuous than the international T20s as there are many more games played in the IPL in a shorter amount of time.
If he wanted to prolong his International career it would make sense he give up his lucrative($$$) IPL contract, step down from the captains post and continue on with being part of the team. Team Australia could do with his batting in the T20s.
Cricket Australia over the years has managed his breaks quite well over the past few years all in the name of prolonging his career. So i see no reason once he steps down as captain, that those breaks can't be more frequent and managed better. In saying so I believe he should give up the ODI captaincy too, as Australia did when the change of guards took place between Steve Waugh and Ponting himself before the '03 World Cup if I'm not wrong.
Don't get me wrong i believe he is a Fantastic cricketer, but i just dont rate him as a leader and i definitely don't rate this decision of his.
I think he has made this decision in haste, just in order to make sure the new selectors that are supposed to come in give him a chance of redeeming himself, and I believe he has been somewhat selfish in making this decision.
Let me know what you guys think about this decision of Pontings.....