Ricky Ponting batted so well as a nine-year-old that the state of Tasmania had to change rules of school cricket. Ponting said he did not get out for one whole season, after which it was made mandatory for players to retire after scoring 30.
“As a nine-year old, I played the whole first season of school cricket without getting out and then at the start of the next year, they changed the rules so that you had to retire at 30,” Ponting told Herald Sun.
This prompted the nine-year-old Ponting to stop scoring runs off the first five balls of the over.
“So from there on, I’d open the batting, try and face as many balls as I could, and not score many runs. I’d get a single on the last ball of every over, so I retained the strike. I’d get to the other end and ask the umpire what I was on. I’d try to get to 29 and hit a four or six off the last ball,” he said.
Ponting, acclaimed by Australian Academy coach Rod Marsh as the best teenage batsman he had ever seen, made his Tasmania debut at 17. He made his international debut at 20, and was given out unluckily for 96 in his first Test.
He grew into Australia’s most successful run-maker over his career, also becoming the country’s 42nd Test captain. He is the second highest Test run-scorer and the third highest ODI run-scorer of all time.
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