Perth, Nov 30: Many Australian fans might be placing bets on Ricky Ponting scoring a century in his last Test against South Africa. But the retiring batsman himself was known for betting, not on cricket but greyhounds. Thanks to that, the nickname Punter got stuck to him.
Ponting on Thursday bid adieu to cricket life and for another few days he will be spotted on the field as he plays his last Test against South Africa, which started on Friday (November 30).
The former Australian captain's famous nickname Punter was given to him by spin legend and his team-mate Shane Warne. It was a long time ago that Ponting became Punter and it has since then stayed.
Ponting has the habit of placing bet (punt) on greyhound racing and that is the reason behind his nickname. He recently told a website that he enjoys the "vice". Ponting also owns greyhounds.
"Another vice for me away from cricket, to give me some enjoyment. I've been involved in greyhound racing for over 20 years now, I really enjoy it and once cricket is finished I'll be able to become more involved," Ponting was quoted as saying.
"It's a great fun sport for me, Ryan Harris also has a couple of dogs now, and I'm slowly trying to drag a few more of the boys into owning a few dogs. Now that I have more time with the Tassie boys there will be boys in the rooms who will be part owners of greyhounds I think," he added.
In 2007, "The Daily Telegraph" had reported that Ponting owned a greyhound named First Innings and soon after a cricket tour, he was rushing back to cheer his dog in a race in Hobart. He also had a dog named Down The Pitch.
After the Perth Test, Punter Ponting might be seen more at greyhound racing.