"I've got a few months of cricket yet and I'll enjoy that for what it is," said Ponting, who will play out the season with Tasmania.
"This is my new team here," he added, pointing to his wife Rianna and daughters Emmy and Mattise.
After a rousing round of applause, an ashen-faced Clarke finally had his say and admitted that his predecessor and mentor's announcement had come as a surprise.
"Ricky spoke to me after the Adelaide test match, and made his decision over the last little while," he said.
"The boys are obviously hurting at the moment. He's been an amazing player for a long time.
"That'll do for me today," he added after a long pause as he struggled unsuccessfully to contain his emotions.
In Image: Australian Test cricketer Ricky Ponting announces his retirement during a press conference on the eve of the third cricket Test