Image for The Joy of Six: Ricky Ponting

From his youthful fighting spirit, to his omnipotence with the bat, via phenomenal pull-shots, catches and displays of humility ...

1) The early years

One shot, that was all it took. Or so the story goes. Ricky Ponting arrived at the Australian Cricket Academy when he was 16, his local cricket association having stumped up A$1,000 to pay for him to get from Launceston to Adelaide. Rod Marsh was in charge, and by way of a welcome he stuck Ponting in the nets against a 6ft 6in quick called Paul Wilson, a 20-year-old who was trying to talk Marsh into giving him a place at the academy. Wilson’s first ball was a bouncer, which Ponting pulled away in front of square. “This bloke,” Marsh said, “will play for Australia.”

Ponting was a seriously talented teenager.

Read the full story here:

Punter in pictures

Earlier on Tasmanian Times: The night I saved Ricky Ponting’s career ...