I've spoken many times about Ricky Ponting's imminent demise as Australian captain. While I was often banging on about how I thought he would go, and how he'd cling on to grim death until there was no other option, part of me wouldn't accept that Ricky would no longer be Australia's captain.
As I've literally not known a situation in my cricketing life where Ricky Ponting hasn't been Australian captain, it's become part of the institution. While everything has to come to an end eventually, and Ponting's ever increasing age dictated that it would be sooner rather than later, I still sort of expected him to just keep carrying on. But carry on no longer, and while he may play on as a batsman, it will be difficult to see Ricky, the eternal captain, playing as "one of the boys" under a Clarke, Haddin or Hussey.
It'll be very odd to see somebody else leading Australia onto the field the next time they play, and whether Ponting is one of the boys following the new captain on or if he's sitting in the hospitality box remains to be seen. But the end of Ponting's captaincy brings with it the end of an era - the final close to the all-conquering Australian side of the late 90s through to the middle of the 00s.
Farewell Ricky. It may sound odd to say, but I'll miss you.