Nicknamed Punter by Shane Warne for his penchant for a bet (punt) on the greyhounds, Ponting amassed 13,378 runs in 168 Tests at 51.85, and 13,704 runs in 375 one-day internationals.
As captain, he oversaw a painful transition in Australian cricket following several high-profile retirements, including Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer.
But even with such greats in the ranks, Ponting, as captain, lost the 2005 Ashes in England, and despite engineering a 5-0 revenge in the ensuing home series in 2006/07, he again lost in 2009 and 2010/11.
That last failure was badly received in Australia -- it was their first Ashes loss at home for 24 years and followed a series of defeats by Ponting-led teams.
In Image: Australia's Ricky Ponting waves to fans as he walks off the pitch for the last time after his wicket fell for 8 runs