Australia's highest test run-scorer and former captain Ricky Ponting has announced he will retire from test cricket.
The 38-year-old former said Thursday the third test against South Africa starting Friday will be his last.
Ponting will equal Steve Waugh's record of 168 test appearances for Australia in the Perth match and he retires with a current test total of 13,336 runs.
His decision follows some poor form in the first and second tests and a meeting Wednesday with the Australian selectors.
"Over the last couple of weeks my level of performance hasn't been good enough," Ponting said. "My passion and love for the game hasn't changed.
Ponting informed his teammates of his decision Thursday morning and the entire Australia squad attended the news conference at which he made his retirement public. He said he will continue to play for Tasmania state until the end of the current season.
"At the end of the day (the decision) was based on my results. In this series so far they have not been up to the level required of batsmen and players in the Australian team.
"I'm glad to have got the opportunity to finish on my terms."
Ponting said he hoped to finish his test career with a victory over South Africa, which would give Australia a 1-0 series win after the first two matches were drawn.
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from Associated Press
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