'Cricket golden era's Ponting, Tendulkar deserve to leave triumphant'
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The golden era of cricket is nearing its end with Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis, the last three remnants of the magnificent generation, playing in the final stages of their careers for their nations, according to cricket writer, Tanya Aldred.
"There is a real sadness in watching genius fade, in watching the clock slowly stop. The sun is setting on two cricketers: Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting," Aldred wrote in her column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
"These two men, one spiky and confrontational, one trapped in a serene mask of national adoration, have been the backbone of international cricket for a generation. Both are brilliant stylists, both have led their countries, both have had to carry the pressure of being the greatest batsman in their side and, at times, the greatest batsman in the world," she added.
"Both seemed for so long oblivious to the marching years - so energetic, so athletic - but now time is getting stuck in. Maybe the eyes are fading just fractionally, maybe the reflexes are going incrementally, or the knees, or perhaps the mind or the body is just weary of years of almost non-stop cricket," she further wrote.
Aldred further wrote: There is a third man (Jacques Kallis), a contemporary of Ponting and Tendulkar, who still has the eyes and the skills, but an ageing body."
"One of the most underrated players of all time - perhaps, deeply unfairly, because of his heavy-set build and slightly plodding nature - looks as if he will be defeated by his own physique," she added.
"Ponting, Tendulkar, Kallis: together they are the last remnants of a wonderful generation of batsmen that encompassed talents as rarefied as Brian Lara (who retired six years ago) - and as remarkably patient as Rahul Dravid. They deserve better than to flail against the dying of the light. They deserve to leave triumphant, acclaimed," she concluded.