Ricky Ponting with his new book at the launch in Noosa yesterday.
Ricky Ponting with his new book at the launch in Noosa yesterday. Geoff Potter

Ponting opens up, delights punters

AUSTRALIA needs more David Warners, according to former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

Mr Ponting, who was in Noosa yesterday to promote his autobiography At the Close of Play, said Australia had to be aggressive with the bat, as the side's opener Warner was.

"That's the way he (Warner) has to play," he said.

"I'd love to see all our batters go out there and take them on and put pressure back on the English attack," he said.

While Mr Ponting believes Australia's young guns can beat England, he said they had to win at the Gabba.

The first Ashes Test began in Brisbane yesterday.

At Berardo's restaurant, the lunch crowd fired questions at him which he answered with engaging frankness.

Mr Ponting said he left school in Tasmania at 15, packed a small cricket bag, headed to the Academy of Cricket and had not spent more than a few months at a time at home since.

"I don't have any regrets on or off the field, but I did miss a lot of family events: sisters growing up, weddings," he said. "Family really is everything and I'm looking forward to spending more time with my wife and daughters."

Mr Ponting said he had never been afraid to face any of the renowned fast bowlers during his career, but he knew bowlers who were terrified while batting.

Cricket fans kept checking the scores from the Gabba to pass on to Ponting as he signed books and posed for photographs without a break throughout the afternoon.



High speed, lots of cheers and even a few tears

High speed, lots of cheers and even a few tears

All of the emotion and hard work behind the Goldrush Hillsprint

Car well engulfed in fire outside CQ town, driver fled scene

Car well engulfed in fire outside CQ town, driver fled scene

The incident occurred around 5am this morning

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Bushfire warning issued for blaze near Rockhampton

UPDATE 10.30am: Nearby areas may be affected by a smoke haze

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