Ricky Thomas Ponting, AO (born 19 December 1974), nicknamed Punter, is an Australian former cricketer who was captain of the Australia national cricket team during its 'golden era'; between 2004 and 2011 in Test cricket and 2002 and 2011 in One Day International cricket. He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He is a specialist right-handed batsman, slips and close catching fielder, as well as a very occasional bowler. He is the only Australian test captain to have led his side to three separate Ashes series defeats, but led Australia to victory at the 2003 and 2007 cricket world cups and was also a member of the 1999 world cup winning team under Steve Waugh.
He represents the Tasmanian Tigers in Australian domestic cricket, the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League, and played in the Indian Premier League with the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008. He is widely considered by many to be one of the best batsmen of the modern era, along with Sachin Tendulkar of India and Brian Lara of the West Indies. On 1 December 2006, he reached the highest rating achieved by a Test batsman in the last 50 years.
Ponting made his first-class debut for Tasmania in November 1992, when just 17 years and 337 days old, becoming the youngest Tasmanian to play in a Sheffield Shield match. However, he had to wait until 1995 before making his One Day International (ODI) debut, during a quadrangular tournament in New Zealand in a match against South Africa. His Test debut followed shortly after, when selected for the first Test of the 1995 home series against Sri Lanka in Perth, in which he scored 96. He lost his place in the national team several times in the period before early-1999, due to lack of form and discipline, before becoming One Day International captain in early-2002 and Test captain in early-2004...
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