Insights from the UK and beyond
from Left field:
Respected but seldom loved at home, admired but also reviled abroad, Ricky Ponting led Australia to great success but his captaincy will ultimately be defined by three lost Ashes series.
The tough, single-minded Tasmanian always put the team first and that, he said, had prompted him to stand down after nine years in charge of the Australia one-day team and seven as test skipper on Tuesday.
The most test (48) and one-day international (164) wins by any captain as well as successive World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007 is an impressive record by any standards, and there has never been any doubt about his quality as a batsman.
And yet, ever since he took over a world-beating side from Steve Waugh, there has always been a question mark hovering over his captaincy.
His honeymoon period as test captain lasted little over a year until he blotted his copy book with the ultimate sin for an Australian captain, the loss of an Ashes series to England.