Ricky Ponting presents his summer awards | Big Bash League BBL
Cricket network logo

Ricky Ponting presents his summer awards

02 March 2018

Best players and moments, most under-rated and funniest - they're all here from the legendary former skipper

Best of the KFC Big Bash League

Player of the tournament: D'Arcy Short

Ponting's Awards: Player of the BBL

With a record amount of runs and the highest score in the history of the Big Bash, Ponting had little trouble selecting Hobart's D'Arcy Short as his player of the tournament. 

"He had an unbelievable Big Bash - broke all sorts of records," Ponting said. "He's still a young bloke still developing his game but to see him dominate this year, and string together some consistent match-winning performances for his team ... shows just how good a player he is."

Rising star: Billy Stanlake

Ponting's Awards: Rising Star

Stanlake recovered from injury early in the summer to be a key figure in Adelaide Strikers' title charge. 

"I just love the look of what he's got - he's almost seven-foot tall, he bowls at 150kph, he can swing the new ball, and he's got a little nasty streak in him as well," Ponting said.

"I think he's someone who, with his natural attributes, could be one of the all-time great fast bowlers."

Most under-rated player: Ashton Turner

Ponting's Awards: Most underrated BBL player

Turner was unable to bowl due to injury but that didn't stop him producing a series of match-winning performances with the bat for the Scorchers. 

"What I like about him is that, when he got an opportunity to win a match for his team this year, he got it done," said Ponting. "He had the skill, he had the leadership qualities to stand up in the absence of some of the more senior players, and it looked to me like he really enjoyed the challenge of being one of the leaders around that group."

Best fielder: Glenn Maxwell

Ponting's Awards: Best fielder in BBL

Ponting had no hesitation naming the electric Maxwell as his best fielder in the tournament. "You could ask me every year and I'd probably say the same thing," he said. "I think he's the most naturally gifted fieldsman in Australia and one of the best fielders in the world."

Top five BBL moments

Ponting's Awards: Top 5 moments of BBL

There were hat-tricks, hundreds and classic catches in his top five, but Ponting couldn't go past Jake Weatherald's brilliant century in the tournament decider as his top selection.

"That was my favourite moment of the Big Bash this year," he said. "To be able to stand up under pressure when your team needs you the most ... says something special about him."

Best of the Ashes

Top five moments

Ponting's Awards: Top 5 Ashes moments

Mitchell Starc's 'ball of the summer', Tom Curran's no-ball ... there were plenty of magical Ashes moments. But for Ponting, numero uno belonged to Nathan Lyon, who produced a stunning run-out of James Vince in the series opener at the Gabba. 

"England were going well, on top in the game - everything looked pretty flat; the wicket was slow, there wasn't much happening," Ponting recalls. "There was a half-chance created by Nathan Lyon at point - to pick up in one hand, throw the stumps down and run out a set batsman at a crucial time, was something that probably wasn't highlighted enough (in terms of) just how big an impact that had on the game."

Best player: Steve Smith

Ponting's Awards: Player of the Ashes

Ponting wasted little time declaring the Aussie skipper - who dominated the series - as his best player from the five Tests. 

"He led by example from pretty much the first ball of the series - he scored his slowest Test hundred on a slow pitch," said Ponting. "Did what he had to do for his team and most importantly put his stamp on the series at his first possible opportunity."

Most under-rated player: Shaun Marsh

Ponting's Awards: Most underrated Ashes player

Shaun Marsh capitalised on his surprise recall with an outstanding Ashes, scoring 445 runs at 74 and impressing Ponting along the way. 

"The selectors copped some criticism for going back to Shaun Marsh at the start of the series but he repaid them in spades," Ponting said. "I spoke to (WA coach) Justin Langer leading into that series, and he said he thought Shaun was playing better than ever. I think that was in evidence throughout the series."

Funniest moment of the summer: Marsh madness!

Ponting's Awards: Funniest moment of the summer

"Steve Smith's reaction to the almost comical error - or run-out - when they were bringing up the second hundred between the pair," said Ponting with a grin, after the two hugged it out before the ball had even got to the boundary, briefly worrying the skipper as he watched a near disaster unfold. 

"Anyone watching that gets another appreciation of just how involved Steve Smith is in the game, and how sometimes he can't control his body language."

Filed Under

Ricky Ponting