LONDON: Australia great Ricky Ponting will join the backroom staff of head coach Justin Langer during the team’s tour tour of England.
Former Australia captain Ponting, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation, was already due to be in Britain to commentate on the five-match one-day international series against 2019 World Cup hosts England that starts on June 13 and a subsequent Twenty20 international.
But Wednesday’s announcement by Cricket Australia will see Ponting joining forces with Langer, an old team-mate, again after the pair coached Australia’s Twenty20 team against Sri Lanka on home soil in 2017.
Ponting also assisted former Australia head coach Darren Lehmann, who quit following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March, for the Twenty20 tri-series against England and New Zealand earlier this year.
As a batsman Ponting averaged over 42 in 375 ODIs, with an excellent strike rate above 80.
His 41 hundreds in the format included a brilliant 140 not out in a 2003 World Cup final win over India in Johannesburg.
Ponting had first won the World Cup in 1999 before enjoying back-to-back triumphs as captain in 2003 and 2007.
More recently, the 43-year-old Tasmanian has coached the Delhi Daredevils in this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
Langer was delighted to be able to tap into Ponting’s expertise, saying: “Ricky is one of the greats of the game, and since he was already in England doing some commentary we saw it as a great opportunity to have him join our team for this important series.
“We have played a lot of cricket together and coached alongside each other previously, and he will also know many of the players already through his work with the team over the past two summers and his BBL (Big Bash League) commitments,” he added.
“Ricky’s knowledge of the game is second-to-none, and we know that his experiences, tactical expertise and leadership will be invaluable for this group, as we start to build a team capable of winning a World Cup in these conditions in a year’s time.”
Ponting will join up with the squad on June 10 and fit in his work with World Cup-holders Australia around his broadcasting duties.—AFP