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 PSL: Qalandars slay the Kings to win by 22 runs
DUBAI: Lahore Qalandars, that lost its first match to Islamabad, managed to register their first win of the PSL 2019 by beating Karachi Kings.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
Cricket: Sri Lanka beats South Africa
DURBAN: Kusal Perera took Sri Lanka to a sensational one-wicket win on the fourth day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Perera hit a career-best 153 not out as he and Vishwa Fernando put on an unbeaten 78 in a last-wicket partnership that enabled Sri Lanka to secure only their second win in 14 Test matches in South Africa. Victory seemed unlikely when the ninth wicket fell with the total on 226, with the tourists chasing a target of 304. But the left-handed Perera successfully farmed the strike, with South African captain Faf du Plessis persisting with defensive fields for the in-form batsman, while Fernando only had to face 27 balls during a 96-ball partnership. South Africa took the second new ball with the total on 263 but still kept most of their fielders on the boundary for Perera, who hit sixes off both Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada before slashing Rabada to the third man for the winning boundary.
PSL 4: Multan Sultans field against Islamabad United
DUBAI: Multan Sultans won the toss and elected to field first against Islamabad United, on Saturday during the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai.
This will be the second match for both of them as Islamabad won their first match by 5 wickets against Lahore Qalandars while Multan were defeated by just 7 runs against Karachi Kings.
Both Islamabad and Multan have balanced sides but the former have an edge with a victory in their first match.
United the defending champions led by fast bowler Mohammad Sami.
However, Multan is being captained by veteran all-rounder and former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik who hit an aggressive fifty against Karachi Kings on Friday.