``VERY, very nervous'' was the answer when Launceston cricketer Ryan Lees was asked how he felt about bowling against Australia's leading run-scorer Ricky Ponting on Saturday.
The retired Australian captain will play for his club side Mowbray against Launceston in the NTCA game at Invermay Park.
Launceston captain Rowan Smith backed up his bowler's feelings, saying there would probably be fear among his players facing Ponting.
``You would not be truthful unless you said you felt a little bit intimidated by him,'' Smith said.
``But it's a challenge we are happy to embrace.''
Both players said they were coming off a win against Riverside last weekend and would use those winning tactics again this weekend, plus they would try and learn from the way Ponting went about his game.
``Most batsmen do not like the ball coming through (around) the top of the off-stump,'' Smith said.
``So we will work hard on line and length.
``But the margin for error will be less than with other batsmen.''
Lees said despite his nerves, he was looking forward to the weekend.
When asked about his feelings, he said: ``Very, very nervous but I am going to try and bowl how I do against any other (batsman).
``He is going to put bad balls away and probably good ones as well.''
Mowbray captain-coach Clinton Reid said he expected Ponting to bat at number three and try to fit in with the least disruption.
``He will do as he is told, I guess,'' the captain said of his star batsman.
``I am sure he will be looking forward to putting the Mowbray colours back on.
``It will be great to have him around . . . he is still Australia's best batsman.''
Reid said he thought Ponting would be an asset for the team when asked if the star would boost the side's batting line-up, adding: ``I reckon that is a considerable understatement.''
The two-day game will be played at Invermay Park, Forster Street, from 10.30am to 5.30pm on Saturday with free admission. Ponting may also play on Sunday morning.
And it seems that Ponting is also looking forward to the weekend, saying late last year that Mowbray was where he learned his cricket.
``If I had a regret in my cricketing life it's that I haven't been around that club more over the last 15 years, so I'm looking forward to catching up with a few of the Mowbray boys,'' he said.