|Full Name||Ricky Thomas Ponting|
|Born||19 December 1974 Launceston, Tasmania, Australia|
|Bating Style||Right Handed|
|Bowling Style||Right-arm medium|
Ponting was born and raised in Launceston, Tasmania by parents Graeme and Lorraine. Ricky started playing cricket at age 7, and showed immediate promise. He was known to be rich in talent ever since he was 12 when he became the youngest person in the world to have a bat sponsor as he was signed by Kookaburra. Obviously people knew that in the future he would be a star. Ponting excelled in junior levels as he was already playing 1st/A Grade cricket when he was 12 and had made it into Youth State and National sides with ease. He attended school at Mowbray Primary and then Brooks Senior High School in Launceston, and then attended the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy from 1992 to 1993. Ponting reached international standards at a young age for a batsman, making his One Day International debut in early 1995 and making his Test debut at the end of the year aged 20. However, his progress was not unhindered. He lost his place in the team several times due to lack of form and discipline issues, before rising to the ODI captaincy in early 2002 and becoming Test captain in early 2004. As of March 2008, he is the second highest ranked ODI batsman and ranked third amongst Test batsman in the ICC ratings. Ponting is considered one of the best cricketers in modern cricket, and is ranked 2nd in the One-Day International Batting chart. He has scored over 9,500 Test runs at an average near 60, but since the February 2002 tour of South Africa (when he was elevated to the ODI team captaincy) he has scored 24 of his Test centuries and averaged above 74, leading to comparisons with Sir Donald Bradman. Ponting is also Australia's leading ODI run-scorer and century maker he has the second most centuries ever, behind only Tendulkar. His century against the West Indies in Jaipur at the 1996 Cricket World Cup made him the youngest ever World Cup centurion, and his unbeaten 140 against India in the 2003 Cricket World Cup final was the highest by a captain in a World Cup final. In 2007 Cricket World Cup match against South Africa at St Kitts, Ponting became the first Australian to reach 10,000 runs in ODI Cricket and the 7th in world cricket to achieve this distinction. Like many Australian batsmen, Ricky Ponting is particularly strong against pace bowling, with the full array of back foot shots, including the pull, hook, and square cut. Early on, he was regarded as a near-compulsive hooker, but he has lately moderated this tendency. He tends to move across his off stump, and has therefore been regarded as vulnerable to LBW early in his innings. He is less adept against spin bowling, particularly on very helpful spinning pitches such as those in India where his average is just 12.28. After his first 30 Tests in just under four years his average was 38.62, and after rising into the mid-40s had dipped again to 40.50 after 45 Tests. Since that time his average has consistently risen; his averages in recent calendar years are 70.93 in 2002, 100.20 in 2003, 41.00 in 2004, 67.13 in 2005 and 88.86 in 2006. Ponting occasionally bowls medium pace, and has also experimented with off-spin. He is an outstanding fieldsman square of the wicket or at silly point, with fast reactions and hand-eye coordination and (especially in the one-day game) a reputation for hitting the stumps to run out opposition batsmen. A report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showing that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the second highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the sixth highest success rate.