Ex-Australian skipper Ricky Ponting will take up the role of coach of Australia team, joining his former teammates Justin Langer and Jason Gillespie for the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka. But the series will not feature senior players, who will be a part of the Test series against India.
Ponting will work with two familiar faces, former opener Justin Langer and pacer Jason Gillespie, for the three-match series against Sri Lanka. Langer will act as head coach for the series, with Adelaide Strikers head coach Gillespie as an assistant. Full-time head coach Darren Lehmann will not be with the T20 side as he will guide the team for the four-match Test series against India, which will begin just a day after the completion of the series against Sri Lanka. A number of key players will miss the three-match T20 series as well.
On hearing the announcement, Ponting expressed his happiness at getting a chance to work with his former teammates.
“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," Ponting said, reported Cricket.com.au.
He added, "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 something special for Australia’s Twenty20 international ambitions.”
The move comes soon after the Australian cricket team had lost the ODI series 0-5 and the Test series to South Africa at home, before salvaging some pride by winning the Test series against Pakistan. The team had faced severe criticism from the former cricketers for their dismal performances over the entire 2016.
Earlier, Ponting had also expressed his desire to be the coach of the team, after ending his contract with IPL team Mumbai Indians.
Considered one of the greatest players of all-time, 'Punter', as he is known in cricketing circles, has 13378 runs from 168 Tests and a whopping 13704 runs from 375 One-day internationals for Australia. He also led the Baggy Greens to two World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007.
Australia meet Sri Lanka for T20 matches at the MCG on February 17, at Geelong's Kardinia Park on February 19 and at the Adelaide Oval on February 22.