Ponting went on to make his state debut at 17, the youngest to represent Tasmania in the domestic Sheffield Shield competition, before making his international one-day debut aged 20 in 1995.
He only scored one against South Africa in his first match but went on to become one of cricket's batting titans, with his Test debut coming 10 months later in December against Sri Lanka in Perth.
Ponting had a rocky beginning in the public eye and was banned for three matches in 1999 by Australian cricket chiefs following an early-morning brawl in a Sydney bar.
Married with two children, he is known as a campaigner against cancer and established The Ponting Foundation with wife Rianna to raise money for young Australians afflicted by the disease.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland described him as one of the best players to ever to pad up, and wants him to continue in the game in some capacity, although Ponting is yet to announce his future plans.
In Image: Australia's Ricky Ponting walks off for the last time after his wicket fell for 8 runs