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Ponting set for T20 coach role: reports

Australia legend Ricky Ponting in discussions to coach Australia in the World T20 on home soil

Australia champion Ricky Ponting is in line to coach his country at the next World Twenty20, to be played on home soil, according to reports.

A News Corp report tonight claimed Cricket Australia was in negotiations for Ponting to coach the home team at the event in 2020.

Ponting joined the T20 side as an assistant coach for a three-game series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, forming an all-star cast alongside fellow assistant Jason Gillespie and stand-in head coach Justin Langer, while Australia was preparing for their Test tour of India.

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A similar situation arises in February when the conclusion of the Gillette T20 tri-series with England and New Zealand clashes with Australia's Qantas Test tour of South Africa.

Darren Lehmann will coach the Australia team throughout this summer's limited overs series while the Bupa support staff assistant coaches David Saker, Brad Haddin and Graeme Hick lead an advanced party across the Indian Ocean ahead of the four-Test tour.

CA are understood to be looking at options to provide support to Lehmann during the five-match ODI tour and T20 tri-series.

It is understood Ponting, who scored 41 centuries at Test level and is recognised as one of the game's most knowledgeable figures, is only in the formative stages of discussions to steer the T20 team any decision is a long way off.

Australia's all-time leading run-scorer in Tests and ODIs and a three-time World Cup winner, the 43-year-old spent two seasons in charge at Mumbai Indians, steering them to the Indian Premier League title in 2015.

He has been linked with a return to coaching in next year's IPL – possibly with the Dehli Daredevils – although this too remains unconfirmed.

"Coaching in the IPL was really challenging and a lot of fun … to get a real taste for what coaching is all about was great," Ponting told cricket.com.au in February.

"As a past player who's been ultra-competitive all through your playing time and then when your career ends, that all goes away.

"Coaching is a way to add a bit more of that competitiveness back into life.

"That's one thing I've said to the boys over the last couple of days, I'm a pretty competitive person and if I see things around the group that aren't the way I want them, I'll let them know and make sure they up the ante and get everything out of themselves."

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Australia sits seventh in the T20 rankings and has made the World T20 final just once from six attempts, in 2010 when they lost to England in the Caribbean.

Of 29 World T20 matches, Australia have won 16 and are eager to improve their fortunes in the shortest format.

Lehmann has confirmed that he will not seek to extend his tenure as Australia's coach beyond his existing contract, which is set to run out following the next Ashes series in 2019.

In October, Lehmann expressed his belief that the increasing demands of the international schedule will leave "no choice" but to split the head coaching role between red and white-ball formats.

"I think it will get to a stage where I'll probably have to look at changing that setup," Lehmann told cricket.com.au in October.

"I know speaking to (former England coach) Andy Flower for example … he didn't like it so much, but I think the way that the game is going, you've got no choice now."

"You can't split them three ways – Tests, one-dayers and T20 – some of the time there's no point another coach coming in, it's just logistical nightmares, so I think you'd probably go white ball, red ball.

"And cricket is really getting specialised. You can see a time when down the track … I don't know how many years but there'll be really significant changes and the XIs will be separate XI for each format or in red-ball and white-ball cricket.

"And that's happening now anyway, just because it's the only way you can keep the players on the park.

"But then you've got big tournaments which are really important to win and your best side has to be available.

"And there's always different stories, (such as) how (can) the young guys get an opportunity at the next level if you don't give them the opportunity when you get a chance?

"So there's pros and cons everywhere – it's just how you balance it out."

Langer, who has been mooted as a contender to replace Lehmann in the top job has previously spoken against the idea of a separate coach for each format, declaring it could "dilute" the messages passed to players.

The former left-handed opener has led Perth Scorchers to three KFC Big Bash League titles and believes continuity has played a key role in their success.

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