Australian batsman Ricky Ponting has been awarded one of his country’s highest civil honours in an annual list marking the national holiday, one day after posting a double century in the fourth Test against India.
Ponting has been appointed an officer in the general division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to cricket and to the community through the Ponting Foundation, which helps cancer sufferers.
“I feel very humble to be awarded this Honour and recognised for doing what I love,” Ponting said.
“Playing cricket has been the major part of my life and from the first time I was selected for Australia, I have always been extremely proud to represent my country both here in Australia and all around the world.
“I have never taken the responsibility of playing for Australia for granted and have always appreciated the support of my teammates and Australian fans who make it even more special to wear the baggy green.”
“To receive this accolade is such a great honour, especially on a day when I am doing my favourite thing on one of my favourite cricket grounds in the world.”
Ponting is recognised for his distinguished service to the sport of cricket and to the community through the establishment of the Ponting Foundation.
“In every way, this honour is also for my wife Rianna, who has been the driver for all our charity work,” Ponting said.
“We are very proud of what the Ponting Foundation is doing to help young Australians beat cancer.
“From the very first time we walked into the cancer ward at the Sydney Children’s Hospital almost a decade ago, we have been continually inspired by the courage and determination shown by young cancer sufferer.”
“Australians are incredibly generous people and they really care for the issues confronting us all. We are indebted to the support we have received to date but like most charities, we have so much more work to do,” Ponting added.
“It is humbling to be acknowledged for this service to the community but it’s the volunteers, donors, supporters and entire medical teams that really deserve the credit.”