Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has been named as assistant coach of Australia for the upcoming Trans-Tasman T20 tri-series against New Zealand and England. The 43-year-old will assist team’s head coach Darren Lehmann while Troy Cooley and Matthew Mott will also join the staff team for next month’s series. Reflecting on his appointment, Ponting said he is looking forward to work with the Australian squad, adding that he has got a bit of coaching bug as well as good gasp on the game.
“I seem to spend my whole life around Twenty20 cricket now with commentating on the Big Bash and coaching in the IPL. I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp on the game and we’ll see how it goes,” ESPNcricinfo quoted the former Australian captain, as saying. “I’ve got a bit of a coaching bug, I love being around the game and being around the best players and I love being able to feel like you’ve got some impact on the way they play their cricket,” he added.
Lehmann, on the other hand, believes the upcoming tri-series would serve as an important step towards the ICC World T20 in 2010.
“To do that, the planning and preparation has to start now. So the chance to have this run of matches against two top sides in conditions we’re set to face in two years, and for us to have Ricky as one of our backroom staff, is great news,” Lehmann said.
It should be noted that Ponting had performed a similar role during the T20 series against Sri Lanka in February 2017, when he worked alongside Justin Langer and Jason Gillespie. Meanwhile, he has recently been named as the head coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Daredevils.
Ponting had earlier coached Mumbai Indians for two seasons in 2015 (when they won the title) and 2016, but the franchise chose to not renew his two-year contract when it expired in 2016. The former Australian cricketer has also played in the league for Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians.
The tri-series is slated to be held from February 7 in Australia before moving to New Zealand. The last group match will be held on February 18 in Hamilton, with the final taking place in Auckland on February 21.
With inputs from ANI