Ricky Ponting has thanked his friend Justin Langer after returning to commentary following a health scare during the first Test against the West indies on Friday. Ponting was taking part in commentary duties for Channel 7 during Australia's Test against the West Indies at Perth Stadium when he started to feel unwell.
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The 47-year-old spent the night in hospital and returned to Channel 7 commentary before play on Day 4. And the great Australian batter admitted he 'gave himself a scare' during the ordeal. However, he thanked his mate and former teammate Langer for acting quickly during the incident.
“I probably scared a lot of people yesterday and had a scary moment for myself," Ponting said on Saturday afternoon.
“I was sitting in the comms box halfway through the stint and got a couple of really short and sharp pains to my chest. I tried to stretch it out and get rid of it, and probably didn’t want to give too much away when I was on air.
“I had a couple of those incidents, got through the stint and went to walk to the back of the commentary box and got lightheaded and dizzy and grabbed the bench. I mentioned to JL on the way out, who was commentating with me, that I had had these pains in my chest and Chris Jones (executive producer) heard me and just reacted straight away and got me out of there. 10 or 15 minutes later, I was in the hospital getting the best treatment that I possibly could."
Ponting admitted that this year, after Australian cricket had lost icons Rod Marsh and Shane Warne to suspected heart attacks, that he needed to lean on someone. And the 47-year-old thanked his friend Langer for being there during the scary moments.
“I feel great this morning, I am all shiny and new this morning, but I think the bottom line is, the fact I was willing to share it with JL and that your mate looks after you, I think as people of our age, we are a little reluctant to share much or talk about our health and I think that is a good learning curve for me yesterday, especially with what has happened in the last 12-18 months really close people around us.
“My little mate looked after me and got me down there and I’m back shiny and new this morning.”
Justin Langer praises lesson Ricky Ponting incident
Langer reiterated Ponting's message that it's important to reach out to friends when something isn't right.
“I knew if Ricky Ponting comes to me and says something is not quite right, well, you know something is not quite right. I think it is a great lesson for everyone" Langer said. “That after our 12 months, it has become very published, with Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, of course, Ryan Campbell, when someone says they’ve got something going on, then talk up.
“And it was good to see the little fella not being the tough guy, not being the Ice Man, and reaching out to his friends. And as Ricky said, we got some great care for him yesterday afternoon.”
Ponting had been sent well wishes from the cricket community and Aussie captain Pat Cummins after play. "I wish Ricky the best," Cummins said on Friday after play.
"We were just chatting to him this morning out on the field. By all reports it sounds like he's going ok. Anything like that is super scary, so we wish him the best."
His health scare comes after a devastating year for Australian cricket after the deaths of Rod Marsh, Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds.
Australian cricket was rocked when Marsh died in February at the age of 74 after suffering a heart attack. Not long after, Warne died from a suspected heart attack while on holiday in Thailand in March. And Symonds was killed in a car crash in May.
In April, former Australian cricketer Ryan Campbell was given just a seven per cent chance of surviving after being placed in an induced coma for seven days following a cardiac arrest.
Incredibly, Campbell survived and was bale to return for the Netherlands at the T20 World Cup. He was part of the team to claim victory over South Africa in a historic moment.
Ponting is a legend of Australian cricket. He played 168 Test matches and 375 one-day internationals during a glittering career in which he amassed 13,378 Test runs - the most by an Australian batter ever and only second to Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.
He also racked up 13,704 runs in ODIs, which is third all-time behind Tendulkar and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara. Fans have been sending their well-wishes to Ponting on social media.
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