PERTH Nov 29 (Reuters) - Reactions to Australian batsman Ricky Ponting's announcement on Thursday that he will be retiring from test cricket after this week's match against South Africa:
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD:
"I am sure even in a parliament ruled with the sort of lack of civility of the opposition ... we could spend one moment celebrating what has been a great cricketing career.
"He is going to go into the next phase of his life with a lot of gratitude and a lot of thanks from the Australian community - full as it is with cricket tragics."
SOUTH AFRICA CAPTAIN GRAEME SMITH:
"I've played a lot against Ricky and he's certainly the most competitive man I've played against.
"I think the way he played the game and intensity with which he played the game is a credit to him. I think he's always represented Australia with a lot of dignity and a lot of skill."
WEST INDIES BATTING GREAT BRIAN LARA VIA TWITTER:
"Ricky u will go down as one of the greats!
"I batted with Ricky once at the MCG, what a great experience that was, 4 such a great cause Tsunami victims. Enjoy ur family, your new team."
CRICKET AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE JAMES SUTHERLAND:
"Ricky has ... been single-minded in his view that everything, including his own ambition, must always be second place after whatever was best for the team."
AUSTRALIA SPIN GREAT SHANE WARNE VIA TWITTER:
"Congrats to Ricky Ponting on an amazing career, well done Punter...Enjoy your last match in Perth buddy, was a pleasure playing with you !!!"
FORMER AUSTRALIA OPENER MATTHEW HAYDEN VIA TWITTER:
"Punter, congratulations on a fantastic career. Your departure will be a massive hole in the Australian Cricket team #RickyPonting #Legend"
AUSTRALIAN CRICKETER CAMERON WHITE VIA TWITTER:
"Australian cricket has lost it's best since Bradman today. Ricky Ponting is a true legend and should be held in the highest regard."
FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN MICHAEL VAUGHAN VIA TWITTER:
"The best batsman I had the privilege to play against ... Ricky Ponting... #Punter played better against me than Sachin did.. Both incredible but if I had to pick one it would be Ricky..."
ENGLAND BATSMAN KEVIN PIETERSEN VIA TWITTER:
"Ricky Ponting RETIRES.... ONE OF THE GREATS! I always got excited playing AUS, so I could watch him bat up close. Well done Punter!"
ENGLAND SPINNER GRAEME SWANN VIA TWITTER:
"You have to take your hat off to Ricky Ponting calling time on a magnificent career. Hell of a player."
ENGLAND BOWLER STUART BROAD VIA TWITTER:
"Huge respect for how Ponting played the game. Tough competitor Aussies will miss him. 100 at Perth to finish?"
FORMER INDIA PLAYER SANJAY MANJREKAR VIA TWITTER:
"Ricky Ponting - a great driver & a great puller ! That's one thing that really stood out for me. Enriched the game by his feats."
INDIAN BATSMAN VIRAT KOHLI VIA TWITTER:
"Ricky Ponting what an absolute legend. I am glad I had the honour of playing against him. Take a bow #legend #respect". (Compiled by Nick Mulvenney and Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)