The Wong Kar Wai movie, In the Mood for Love, has the lines: "That era has passed, Nothing that belonged to it exists any more..." How often must those words, or sentiments to that effect, pop into Ricky Ponting's mind these days? Having come into a team that was on the cusp of world domination, he became an integral part of a side whose like we may never see again, but has since been asked to pick up the pieces as a golden generation moved on.
When Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh raged against the dying Caribbean light at Bridgetown in 1999, Ponting was still making his way in the game. The century that he scored in the first innings of that game was only his third, but he had already played in a World Cup final [and lost], been part of an Ashes-changing partnership [with Matthew Elliott at Headingley in 1997] and been at the wrong end of a fist in a Kolkata nightclub.
As it turned out, that Barbados defeat would be no more than a pothole in Australia's path toRead More »from Oz cricket in search of its soul