Ponting named Australia’s assistant coach for Lanka series

Melbourne [Australia], Jan.1 : Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has been named as an interim assistant coach of the national team for the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka to be held in February.

The coaching roles have become available due to a clash in fixtures, which would see Australia play their final KFC T20 International match against Sri Lanka in Adelaide on February 21 and the first Test of the Qantas Tour of India in Pune the following day.

Therefore, full-time mentor Darren Lehmann and his backroom staff would not be available for Sri Lanka series as they would be preparing for the four-match series against India.

Earlier this year, Ponting had said that he was open to a role with the national team and had also expressed his interest in a coaching or selection job.

Reiterating the same following his appointment, the 42-year-old said that his country consists of some incredible T20 talent and that he could not wait to work with them.

"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 was quoted as saying by a press release from Cricket Australia.

"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 special for Australia's Twenty20 International ambitions," he added.

Ponting, who will work alongside interim head coach Justin Langer and Jason Gillespie, has taken up a range of cricket and media roles since his retirement from international cricket in 2012, ESPNcricinfo reported.

The former Australian skipper, who has been commentating for Channel Ten in this season of the Big Bash League (BBL), had spent a two-year stint, between 2015 and 2016, as coach of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mumbai went on to win the 2015 IPL and finished fifth in the 2016 edition. Australia will play three T20 international matches against Sri Lanka at the MCG (February 17), Geelong (February 19) and Adelaide Oval (February 22).

Source: ANI