Ricky Ponting Finally Joins Coaching Staff For T20 Series Against Sri Lanka

Cricket Australia has finally got Ricky Ponting on board as a coach, but at the moment just on a consultancy basis for the Twenty20 series in February.

As flagged by The Daily Telegraph a month ago, Ponting will join former teammate Justin Langer’s coaching staff for the random three-match campaign against Sri Lanka, which clashes with Australia’s Test tour of India.

Australia has been chasing Ponting’s services for years, desperate to get one of the sharpest minds in cricket on their side of the fence.

Ponting already has an Indian Premier League title on his resume as a coach but his heavy business commitments make him a difficult man to tie down.

At this stage Cricket Australia are unsure whether Ponting harbours further ambitions of becoming involved in the system, but they will hope this is the beginning of a fruitful partnership.

This is Ponting’s first official involvement with Australian cricket since retirement and his coaching triple act alongside Langer and Jason Gillespie -- where they will lead the country’s best Big Bash cricketers into battle in Twenty20 internationals -- will be watched with interest.

"I always said when I retired that I wanted to get back involved and what better way to do it than alongside a couple of my best mates in cricket, Justin Langer and Jason Gillespie," said Ponting.

"We have some incredible Twenty20 talent in this country and I can’t wait to work with JL, Dizzy and those selected to have a real crack at doing special for Australia’s Twenty20 International ambitions."

Australia has never been successful in T20 international cricket and Langer says Ponting’s insights will prove invaluable.

"It’s exciting that Ricky will be involved alongside Jason and myself during the Sri Lanka series as he was the one man I really wanted alongside us," said Langer.

"His knowledge of the game and the way he reads it, coupled with his invaluable experience as an IPL coach with the Mumbai Indians means he knows the format inside-out. Add this to his playing and now commentary experiences in the BBL and he has all the makings of a great coach. I can’t wait to work alongside my ex-captain and friend again.

"Ricky’s experience will add so much value to the group especially if, as seems likely, there are some fresh and relatively inexperienced faces in the squad with several senior players set to be in India at the same time.

"Just like Jason and myself, he will be coming into the series off the back of a long period watching Twenty20 cricket in the BBL and that will increase the chances of us hitting the ground running when the squad assembles."

(The West Australian)



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