Inspired by Sachin Tendulkar's appointment as an MP, Ricky Ponting today announced his retirement from cricket to become the next Pope. Despite a lack of grounding within Vatican politics, the former Australian captain said he was 'very much up for the challenge' and looking forward to becoming God's representative on Earth. Punter also emphasised his long history of pontificating from balconies.
|His Holiness: Ponting denies being under-dressed for his first Easter Mass|
Speaking from Rome, the world's second highest Test run scorer explained his decision: "I know people will say I'm not fit to be God's messenger, but people forget I've worked with Andrew Hilditch so I'm pretty clued up when it comes to dealing with omnipotent forces whose seemingly irrational decisions bring misery to millions." When challenged that trying to become the new Pontiff was fraught with risk and potential disappointment, Ponting remained characteristically bullish: "I've spent many years running between the wickets with Shane Watson. Running for Pope isn't going to phase me."
Ponting's campaign remains in its infancy, although reports coming out of Oz suggest he has already lined up an IPL stint playing for King's XI Punjab to hone his ability to perform dressed in red and white in front of a crowd of zealous diehards who believe in miracles. The Test veteran has also received support for his bid from former team mate, Shane Warne, who has offered to provide his ex-captain's wife, Rianna, with 'appropriate support twice a night' when her husband takes his vows of celibacy.