Melbourne: Former captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed as an assistant coach of the Australian men’s team for the 50-over World Cup set to take place in England later this year, the country’s cricket board said.
The 44-year-old, will work with Australia’s batsmen for the May 30-July 14 tournament, with current batting coach Graeme Hick focussing on preparing the side for the Ashes tour in England, starting in August.
Ponting’s appointment is the second major shakeup in Australia’s backroom staff in as many days, with bowling coach David Saker’s resignation “effective immediately”.
Saker has been replaced temporarily by Troy Cooley.
Australia won their fifth World Cup title on home soil four years ago and head coach Justin Langer said that Ponting’s experience in leading the team to two of those victories would be invaluable in England.
“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 ” he added.
Ponting played 375 one-day internationals for Australia and led them to World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007.
He was also a member of Steve Waugh’s winning side in 1999, the last time the tournament was held in England.