Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has returned to work to commentate on the Australia-West Indies Test match in Perth just 24 hours after suffering "sharp pains" in his chest that required him to go to hospital.
Ponting spoke openly and honestly on Saturday morning on Channel Seven about the health scare he suffered on Friday. He was thankful for the quick thinking of close friend and former team-mate Justin Langer and Seven's head of cricket Chris Jones who urged him to seek immediate treatment after feeling pain in his chest during a commentary stint before lunch on Friday.
"I probably scared a lot of people yesterday and had a scary moment for myself," Ponting told Channel Seven. "I was sitting in the comms box halfway through the stint and got a couple of really short and sharp pains to my chest. I tried to stretch it out and get rid of it, and probably didn't want to give too much away when I was on air.
"I had a couple of those incidents, got through the stint and went to walk to the back of the commentary box and got lightheaded and dizzy and grabbed the bench. I mentioned to JL on the way out, who was commentating with me, that I had had these pains in my chest and Chris Jones heard me and just reacted straight away and got me out of there. Ten or 15 minutes later, I was in the hospital getting the best treatment that I possibly could.
"I feel great this morning, I am all shiny and new this morning.
"I think the bottom line is, the fact that I was willing to share it with JL and the fact that your mate looks after you, I think as people of our age, we are a little reluctant to share much or talk about our health and I think that is a good learning curve for me yesterday, especially with what has happened in the last 12-18 months to really close people around us. My little mate looked after me and got me down there and I'm back, shiny and new this morning."
Ponting, Langer, and their former team-mates, many of whom are in Perth commentating for various broadcast outlets, have become hyper-aware of their heart health in particular this year following the recent deaths of former Australia players Dean Jones, Rod Marsh and Shane Warne and the serious heart attacks of former team-mates Darren Lehmann and Ryan Campbell.
Ponting and a large group of his former Australia teammates from the late 1990s and early 2000s, including Lehmann, organised a holiday together earlier this year and vowed to take greater care of themselves and each other after grieving the loss of Marsh, Warne and Andrew Symonds within the space of three months.