If it's over, a home farewell is warranted

JOHN Inverarity won't be scared to tap Ricky Ponting on the shoulder and say ``see you later son''.

He did that last summer when he pulled the plug on Punter's limited overs career, and that came a game after he'd handed him the captaincy back.

But if this is time for one of the best batsman we will ever see, let him leave with a bit of dignity.

Give both the 37-year-old and us a chance to say goodbye.

The cricketing grapevines are saying give him a farewell Test in Perth, and bring in some newbies against the lesser attack that is Sri Lanka.

But with Hobart to host the opening game of that series in December, it would be downright cruel to end things out West.

A home goodbye would also allow him to pass Steve Waugh's record of 168 Tests for Australia.  

If you're going to push him Inverarity, give him his farewell Test in his home state, which could easily become the biggest sporting event in Tasmania's history.

Ponting has looked tentative and uneasy against South Africa's pace. 

He wants to go on to next year's Ashes, but he won't find Anderson and Broad any easier than Steyn and Morkel, and the selectors will realise that.

The failures of Shane Watson's body and Rob Quiney's batting might save him, but Usman Khawaja and Phil Hughes are banging down the door.

What Inverarity and his panel does next could end up being a defining moment in Australian cricket history.

On past deeds, Ponting deserves to leave the game when he chooses.

But sometimes you don't get what you deserve in life.

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