New Delhi, Jan 14(ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting beat Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, legends Shane Warne, Jacques Kallis, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and many others to be voted as the "ESPN Cricinfo Player of the Decade for the 2000s".
A jury comprising of 38 former and current players, commentators and cricket writers voted Ponting as the best by a vast majority.
Ponting got 60 points, while Kallis was voted the second best with 37 points and Gilchrist came third with 29 points. Muralitharan (27), McGrath (24), Tendulkar (23) and Warne (20) followed them in the list.
Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were also in the competition, but could not manage enough votes.
"Ponting was the player of the decade for his ability to dominate bowlers all across the world for such a long time," Cricinfo quoted Daniel Vettori, New Zealand captain who was part of the jury, as saying.
When informed about the award, Ponting said: "It's a great thrill to be recognised in that way. I have played in an era where there's been a lot of great players. Some of the leading run-scorers of all time have played in my time and a lot of the leading wicket-takers of all time have played in my time as well. When you stack that up, to be recognised as the leading player in the decade against some of those other guys makes it a little bit more special."
After being involved in over 139 Tests and 300 ODIs, Ponting is Australia's leading run-scorer in Test and ODI cricket, with more than 23,000 international runs.
He has scored 39 Test centuries-behind only Tendulkar (43)-and third for most runs and centuries in ODIs behind Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya.
Ponting was the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 2003 and one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year for 2006. He has been the Allan Border Medalist a record four times in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009 (with Michael Clarke).
The 35-year-old has won the award of Australia's best Test player in 2003, 2004 and 2007 and Australia's best One Day International player in 2002 and 2007.
He was also selected as the ICC World XI captain for the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal charity match against the ACC Asian XI in 2004-05 and scored a match winning 115 off 102 deliveries. (ANI)