Cricket fraternity pays glowing tributes to 'retiring' Ponting

Sydney, Nov 29(ANI): Tributes from the entire cricket fraternity have poured in to honour Ricky Ponting after Australia's former Test captain announced his retirement on Thursday.

Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy said Ponting's legacy was almost unmatched.

"He'll be one of the top five batsmen we've ever produced and one of the great team men in Australian cricket history," the Herald Sun quoted Healy, as saying..

Ponting will start his final Test in Perth with a Test average of more than 52, the most Test runs ever by an Australian (13,366) and 41 centuries to his name.

Commentator and former Test player Simon O'Donnell said it was hard to imagine an Australian team without Ponting in it.

"I think he's been one of our greatest. He's become an institution in that cricket team and to Australian cricket," O'Donnell said.

Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath, who played alongside Ponting at the height of his powers, wished their old teammate well as he took to the field for the final time.

"Congrats Punter on a fantastic career, enjoyed playing along side you! Go out with a bang mate!" Lee tweeted.

"Well done Punter on an incredible career. It would be great to see you finish with a ton. It was an honour to play alongside of you," McGrath added.

Controversial England batsman Kevin Pietersen was among many international cricketers who joined the chorus of tributes as Ponting pulled the pin on his 167-Test career.

"RETIRES.... ONE OF THE GREATS! I always got excited playing AUS, so I could watch him bat up close. Well done Punter!" Pietersen tweeted.

Indian batsman Virat Kohli tweeted: "Ricky ponting what an absolute legend. Iam glad I had the honour of playing against him. Take a bow #legend #respect". (ANI)