Legendary batsman Ricky Ponting has joined Australia’s coaching staff ahead of the 2019 ICC World Cup in England and Wales. Ponting will work alongside head coach Justin Langer as Australia look to win the World Cup for a record sixth time.
“This appointment also provides an opportunity for Graeme Hick to focus on preparation for the Ashes,” said interim Team Performance Executive General Manager Belinda Clark.
“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.”
Cricket Australia’s announcement comes a day after bowling coach David Saker stepped down from his post with immediate effect. Saker has been replaced temporarily by Troy Cooley.
Ponting has previously worked as assistant coach during Langer’s first assignment as coach in England last year. Ponting has also served as assistant coach for Australia’s T20 side twice before.
“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.
“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.”
Ponting is also the head coach of Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League. He is expected to join the Australian team after this year’s IPL.
Ponting is a three-time World Cup winner including two times as captain — in 2003 and 2007.
“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, in this year’s World Cup,” Ponting said.
The 44-year-old Ponting retired from international cricket in 2012 after scoring 13,378 runs in 168 Tests with 41 centuries, 13,704 runs in 375 ODIs with 30 centuries and 401 runs in 17 T20Is with two half-centuries.
Ponting was named the ICC Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 while also being named the ICC Test Player of the Year in 2006.
In July last year, Ponting was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame along with India batting great Rahul Dravid.