Sydney, Aug 13 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA)’s executive general manager of team performance, Pat Howard on Thursday said he “would love” to have former captain Ricky Ponting as a batting consultant with the national side, with discussions between the two parties having already taken place.
Ponting, Australia’s leading run-scorer in both Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs), has already had success as a head coach with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), winning the tournament at his first attempt earlier this year.
“We have spoken to Ricky a few times this year to be around the side. I am certainly very open to getting him involved and we would love to have him on board,” Howard was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“I sense Ricky would also love to be involved. His time commitments are obviously one of the big challenges,” he said.
Following his retirement from playing, Ponting has worn a number of hats, in commentary roles with Sky Sports for the Ashes and Network TEN with the Big Bash League (BBL), while also taking on the aforementioned coaching role with IPL powerhouse Mumbai.
Seeking the expertise of legends is not a foreign concept for Australia under the coaching of Darren Lehmann, with Shane Warne and Muthiah Muralidaran both being called upon to offer assistance to the spin-bowling group at different times.
Lehmann also recently said he was in regular discussions with Western Australia coach and Test batting great Justin Langer, adding: “There’s always dialogue behind the scenes with all our former greats to be perfectly honest … they’re always welcome.
“We’ve got to afford him (Ponting) first and foremost but we’d be mad not to have them (Ponting, Langer etc) for that simple reason that they’ve played a lot of cricket, they’re experienced,” Lehmann had said last month.
“Our guys love the past players coming in to speak to them so we certainly look at any options that Ricky would want to entertain and we would use him.”