Perth, Nov 29 (IBNS) Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting on Thursday announced his retirement from Test cricket saying the Perth Test against South Africa starting Friday will be his last.
Ponting, who turns 38 next month, was under tremendous pressure to retain his place in the Test side after his poor run in the ongoing Test series where he managed just 20 runs in three innings.
"This Test match will be my last," Ponting told reporters here. "Over the last couple of weeks my level of performance hasn't been good enough. My passion and love for the game hasn't changed."
Ponting said his poor form prompted him to take the decision.
"At the end of the day (the decision) was based on my results. In this series so far they have not been up to the level required of batsmen and players in the Australian team," he said.
''I'm glad I have got the opportunity to finish on my terms."
Ponting said the decision will not distract him from the final Test against South Africa where the world No.1 ranking is up for grabs.
"I want this win more than any other game I have played in."
The Pert Test will be Ponting´s 168th and he will equal Steve Waugh's mark of most Test matches by an Australian.
As a tribute to Ponting, the entire Australian team turned up for the press conference .
Australian skipper Michael Clarke broke down while speaking.
"I didn't have a feeling it was coming," Clarke said. "Ricky spoke to me after the Adelaide Test match . . . he'd made his decision over the last little while, the last few days. The boys are obviously hurting at the moment. He's been an amazing player for a long time.''