Ponting ecstatic over title victory

Ponting ecstatic over title victory

Ricky Ponting

While Ponting himself had little role to play, he sat back and watched with satisfaction as young guns Shane Watson and Cameron White powered the Aussies -- who were chasing New Zealand’s modest total of 200/9 in 50 overs -- to a six-wicket win in the Champions Trophy final on Monday.

“I am ecstatic to come away with a win. To win a tournament as big as this one is a great reward for all the guys,” Ponting said. “It’s the second biggest one-day tournament that you play, there’s nothing else outside the World Cup. It’s a very special achievement. If you look at us and the amount of ups and downs we have been through in the last 18 months, this is a real positive.”

Great effort

Watson made his second hundred in as many innings, and Ponting was all praise for his fellow Tasmanian. “In the last couple of months, we have started to see the real Shane Watson. He is showing everybody just how good a cricketer he can be. The way he bowled against England in the semis was terrific, and to then come out and make that 130-odd was a great effort.

“But as I said to Cameron and Shane tonight, the situation doesn’t get much harder than it was for those two guys tonight in a big game, in a final, you are chasing a low score and you are two for six, you have got two relatively young guys at the crease,” Ponting went on. “To see those guys stand up and get us across the line was very satisfying.”
Ponting said he was convinced there was no immediate threat to the future of the 50-over game. “There certainly is a place for both 20-over cricket and 50-over cricket alongside the Test game. The Test game is still the form I enjoy the most. I was worried at the time when 20-over cricket became as popular as it was that we might start playing a few less 50-over games, but tournaments like this can only help the game.”

Generous in his assessment of the Kiwis, Ponting – winner of the golden bat for most runs scored and also the player of the tournament – continued, “You have to give them a lot of credit for making it to the final. Especially with some of the injuries they have had, it is a great effort.”