Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Legendary Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed as the national team’s assistant coach for the World Cup later this year.
Cricket Australia confirmed that Ponting will work closely with head coach Justin Langer, while batting coach Graeme Hick will primarily focus on the Ashes series that follows.
Ponting’s appointment comes just a day after bowling coach David Saker handed in his resignation.
Explaining the decision to make Ponting an assistant coach for the World Cup, Cricket Australia said it is part of the “changes to the coaching structure (that) will see him focus on working closely with the ODI batting group”.
“This appointment also provides an opportunity for Graeme Hick to focus on preparation for the Ashes,” interim High Performance Executive General Manager Belinda Clark was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “With two major events back to back we believe it is important to focus a number of staff specifically on one event. The appointment of Ricky is a part of this overall strategy.
“Ricky will assist Justin across a number of key areas including strategy and game-plan, but he will also work closely with and mentor the batting group as they prepare for the English conditions.”
Ponting captained Australia to World Cup glory in 2003 and 2007, and was also part of the side that triumphed in 1999.
“Ricky knows what’s required to win World Cups, and 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,” Langer said in a statement.
Ponting will coach the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April and May before joining Australia’s squad and preparing the team for the World Cup.