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Ponting awarded Australian civil honour

SYDNEY - Australia batsman Ricky Ponting has been awarded one of his country's highest civil honours in an annual list marking the national holiday, one day after posting a double century in the fourth test against India.

SYDNEY - Australia batsman Ricky Ponting has been awarded one of his country's highest civil honours in an annual list marking the national holiday, one day after posting a double century in the fourth test against India.

The 37-year-old Ponting has been appointed an officer in the general division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to cricket and to the community through the Ponting Foundation, which helps cancer sufferers.

Former Wallabies rugby stars Stirling Mortlock and George Smith have received the same awards. Teenage sailor Jessica Watson, who became the youngest person to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 2009, was given the Medal of the Order of Australia.