Bill Ponsford was one of the Australian greats, who managed to play only 29 Tests due to a variety of reasons, the two wars being the biggest. However, even in those 29 Tests, and the 160 odd first-class games that he featured in, there was ample evidence on display, that here was a batsman whose passions revolved around one thing; devouring opponent bowlers and scoring runs.
Four triple centuries and two quadruple centuries formed a part of his 47 first-class tons. In the process, he became the first ever batsman to hit two 400 plus scores in first class. The reason for this was his outstanding success against spinners and the immense powers of concentration that he exhibited. He batted with the Don on numerous occasions and outshone him with his display. Bill O’Reilly considered Ponsford a better player of spin than the Don himself. To underline his voracious scoring appetite, he was the first-ever batsman to score ten centuries in ten successive first-class matches.
Bill Ponsford scored tons in his first two Tests, and as if to better that, he repeated the feat in the last two Test matches that he played in. After this, he promptly retired from the game, wanting to end on a high. Just for his performances in his final series, he was named the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1935, and then inducted in the Aussie Cricket Hall of Fame in 1996. When Ponsford died in 1991, at an age of 90, he was the oldest living Test cricketer at that time.
- Australia Vs England at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sydney - Dec 19, 1924
- Last played:
- Australia Vs England at Kennington Oval (The Oval), London - Aug 18, 1934