Adelaide, Feb.11 (ANI): He is an international cricketer who has scored over 10,000 runs in Test cricket and over 11,000 runs in one-day internationals, but Australian captain Ricky Ponting failed to get bat to ball against a plucky 10-year-old survivor of Victoria's bushfires today.
To the crowd's delight, and with a wry smile, Ponting headed for the sheds as the youngster, Koby, took over batting duties.
"I was actually trying today," news.com.au quoted a grinning Ponting, as saying.
Not bad for a boy from Kinglake who had the day off because his school Middle Kinglake Primary was razed in Saturday's inferno.
Ponting's misfortune at the crease was part of a whirlwind visit by Aussie cricketers to the Whittlesea Tennis and Cricket Club oval which has been transformed into a firefighting staging area and relief centre for those left homeless after the fires that ravaged Kinglake and a string of other small townships in the area.
Cricket-lover Daniel Brown, 20, moved to Kinglake last Wednesday with his girlfriend and two other friends, said the cricketers' visit would lift the community's flagging spirits.
Ponting described meeting families traumatised by Saturday's bushfires as "very moving and very hard".
Speaking to the media at the cricket oval surrounded by admiring schoolgirls and aspiring teenage cricketers, he said the visit had been confronting.
He said a meeting with one woman inside the Whittlesea Community Centre had been particularly sobering.
The team visit was instigated by vice captain Michael Clarke, who was the only absent member at the oval due to medical advice at training on Tuesday. (ANI)