SYDNEY: Former national skipper Ricky Ponting was Friday recruited to work alongside coach Justin Langer, focusing mainly on the batsmen, for the looming World Cup in England where Australia will defend their title.
The appointment of the vastly experienced Ponting, who played at five World Cups and won at three, comes a day after bowling coach David Saker quit.
Cricket Australia said his addition as assistant coach would see him focus on working with the ODI batting group, while current batting coach Graeme Hick concentrates on preparing for the Ashes.
Ponting is a close ally of Langer, who said he was thrilled to have his friend and former colleague back in the fold.
“I know he will be a valuable mentor to not just the batting group, but the broader squad as we focus our attention on defending our World Cup title,” said Langer.
“Ricky and I have worked together with the Australian men’s team in the past, he is an extremely driven coach who is fully invested in the players development and improving Australian cricket.
“He has an impressive understanding of the game, he knows what’s required to prepare and perform at the elite level, and we can’t wait for him to get started working with the squad,” he added.
Ponting played 375 one-dayers and 168 Tests, also working as an assistant with Australia’s Twenty20 side in 2017 and 2018.
He accompanied Langer during the West Australian’s first tour — to England — after taking over as head coach from Darren Lehmann in April last year following the ball-tampering scandal.
Ponting will start after Australia’s upcoming one-day tours against India and Pakistan.
“I’m really excited to be joining the coaching group,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed my previous short-term roles with the ODI and T20 teams but World Cups take on a whole different meaning for me.
“I have enormous confidence in the players available to the selectors and know we will be as tough to beat as any team.”
Cricket: South Africa World Cup squad
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa on Thursday named the following squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales:
Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wkt), JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.
Sri Lanka dump Chandimal, bring back Thirimanne for World Cup
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Thursday dumped established stars including former captain Dinesh Chandimal to hand batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay a place in their World Cup squad.
Chandimal, who was one-day captain until last October, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga were all left out of the 15-man squad.
Thirimanne and Vandersay along with all-rounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis got places despite not playing in the one-day team for more than a year.
Left-handed batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, who was appointed captain on Wednesday, last played an ODI in March 2015.
Opening batsman Avishka Fernando and paceman Nuwan Pradeep were also named for the 50-over event which starts in England and Wales on May 30.
The 1996 champions kick off their campaign against New Zealand in Cardiff on June 1.
Sri Lanka squad:
Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal
Sri Lanka announce World Cup 2019 squad
COLOMBO: Milinda Siriwardana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Jeevan Mendis made remarkable comebacks as Sri Lanka announced their 15-strong squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 on Thursday, 18 April.
Siriwardana and Vandersay last played one-day internationals in October 2017, while Jeevan Mendis’ previous appearance in the format came in the 2015 World Cup match against Afghanistan.
However, many of the regulars, including Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga and Akila Dananjaya, were excluded from the squad altogether, with Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Kasun Rajitha, and Wanindu Hasaranga placed on standby.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeffery Vandersay, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana