Ricky Ponting, the former Australian skipper has revealed an emotional conversation that he had with teammate Damien Martyn in the build-up to the 2003 World Cup final against India which was won by Australia by 125 runs at the Wanderers.
On March 23, 2003, in the final game, Ponting not only scored a stunning 140* at the Wanderers in South Africa but also shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 234 runs with Martyn as Australia posted an enormous total of 359-2 to successfully set the Saurav Ganguly-led side away from the challenge.
It was Martyn, who scored unbeaten 88 from 84 deliveries with a broken finger, according to the Ponting. During 2003 World Cup final, the partnership between the due ultimately proved to be a catalyst for one of the greatest partnerships in game’s pinnacle event.
He told cricket.com.au, "He had a badly broken finger but I was desperate for him to play because he'd played right the way through, he was an experienced player, and 'Marto' was one of those guys who, when things got toughest, he was at his best. If you think about some of the Test tours to India and Sri Lanka where conditions were hard, he found a way and got it done."
The former Australian skipper added, "Most people that looked at him and the way that he played, probably don't see that side of him. They see the other side of him - the arrogance and the swagger and the class with the way that he played. But they don't see the other side of him very often,"
He further revealed that two days before the match, he went up to Martyn and said, "'Look, needle it (his finger) for me today, get through training, I'll watch you catch a few balls and hit a few balls, and then when you've finished, look me in the eye and tell me you can play, because I want you to play."
Ponting goes to the middle-order batsman that day when the match was to be played and said, "Look me in the eye and tell me you (Martyn) can play." To which Martyn replied, "I can play."