Ponting goes in to bat for the truth 

FORMER Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting is known for being a private man.

But in his book, At the Close of Play, he bares all — including life on and off the cricket field.

Ponting's 699-page autobiography reveals his journey from childhood protege, to the highs and lows of an international cricket career, to his retirement in 2012.

He writes about his concerns then with Michael Clarke's commitment to the team, his thoughts on the racial slurs on Andrew Symonds, his decision to retire from Test cricket — and the day he told his father.

Ponting also opens up about his personal life and the ups and downs he and wife Rianna have experienced.

The book was released recently and it received criticism from his former teammates — including Clarke.

Ponting said the book was not controversial, "but a balanced opinion" of his own life.

"I think the media has only looked at snippets and they hadn't had the chance to read through the entire book to see the balanced opinion," he said.

"Everyone knows already about Michael Clarke and Simon Katich and what had happened.

"Being the Australian captain I had to lead, and part of my job was talking about what was going on.

"I believe in telling the truth and if that means telling the truth to my players, teammates, my wife and fans, I tell the complete truth. That is how I've been brought up."

Since retiring from Test cricket last December , Ponting has been working on completing the autobiography.

He said the best part was being able to reflect on his life.

"I think I've enjoyed reflecting on my early days in life," he said.

"When you are playing cricket, you are so busy playing and travelling, you don't look back at what you do.

"I really enjoyed being able to go back and reflect upon my life."

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