By Ben Waterworth
Ricky Ponting reached cricket's pinnacle by playing his natural, aggressive game.
He batted assertively. He fielded spectacularly. He captained tenaciously. He competed ruthlessly and fearlessly.
Ponting's attitude to the game and ability to naturally entertain meant fans always flocked to see him play international matches, whether they were played across 50-overs or five-days.
Now Ponting is encouraging fans to attend T20's as well.
Ever since retiring from international cricket and donning a Hobart Hurricanes shirt, crowds have come to see the great 'Punter' go about his business in the KFC T20 Big Bash League.
And Ponting has not disappointed anyone to date.
The 38-year-old has blasted 159 runs from his first four matches, including two invaluable knocks of 63 in his past two innings.
Ponting has thrived as a Hurricanes opening batsman, attacking the bowling early and making full use of the six-over powerplay.
His footwork, hooks, cuts and drives have been clinical and powerful, almost like the 'Punter' of old. He has had no troubles finding the rope - or hitting over it.
Yet at the same time it has been almost a little odd to watch Ponting dominate BBL attacks.
The Tasmanian played only 17 T20 internationals before retiring from the format to concentrate heavily on Test and 50-over cricket.
T20 never seemed to be his forte.
That or he never had the passion.
The reality is, Ponting really suits the shortest format of the game.
Even though he is on the wrong side of 35, his batting reputation, energy, aggressive nature and well-known reputation definitely appeals to the younger audience.
He is the perfect T20 player.
It makes you wonder how successful the right-handed batsman might have been if he had continued to play international T20's.
And now Ponting could be the X-factor the Hurricanes need to secure a spot in the BBL|02 finals.