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Ponting named assistant for T20Is

Former captain to work with Darren Lehmann next month as Australia look ahead to World T20 tournament on home soil

Martin Smith

9 January 2018, 05:30 PM AEST

Ponting named assistant for T20 series

Cricket great Ricky Ponting is back with the Australian cricket team, the former skipper to assist head coach Darren Lehmann for next month's Gillette T20 series.

With Lehmann's regular team of assistants to be in South Africa preparing for the Test series against the Proteas in March, Ponting will join women's head coach Matthew Mott and head of the national performance program Troy Cooley in working under Lehmann for the series against New Zealand and England that will be played on both sides of the Tasman.

Ponting revealed last month that he's been in discussions for several months with Cricket Australia as the Aussies look at ways to arrest their historically poor record in the shortest form of the game.

And while the role is a temporary one for now, he added he's open to the possibility of one day taking on a full-time coaching position, if Cricket Australia decided a standalone T20 coach was needed.

Ponting on coaching and the hurdles facing Australia's T20 team

"There's a fair bit of talk about splitting the (head coach) roles up and I’m just delighted my name is one that's come up for that permanent role down the track," Ponting said.

"But we’ll wait and see how this goes first. I know I’d enjoy it if I had the opportunity to do it and if I could make it work in with the other commitments I have and with family time."

Recently appointed as head coach of Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Daredevils, Ponting is an IPL-title winning coach with Mumbai Indians and follows the KFC Big Bash League closely in his role as a commentator for Network Ten.

He was also an assistant for the national team last year, joining Jason Gillespie in working under stand-in head coach Justin Langer while Lehmann was on duty with Australia's Test team.

Ponting reveals his top five BBL moments

"I seem to spend my whole life around Twenty20 cricket now with commentating on the Big Bash and coaching in the IPL," Ponting said.

"I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp on the game and we’ll see how it goes."

Ponting added the chance to work alongside Lehmann, with whom he played 126 times at international level over the course of a decade, was too good to pass up.

"We’re great mates," he said. "We enjoyed batting together and we enjoyed playing together, so I’ve no doubt at all we’ll enjoy working together as coach and assistant coach. 

"I’ve got a bit of a coaching bug, I love being around the game and being around the best players and I love being able to feel like you’ve got some impact on the way they play their cricket.

Ponting and Lehmann in India in 2001 // Getty
Ponting and Lehmann in India in 2001 // Getty

"It’s very much an assistant’s role, Darren is obviously the head coach and hopefully we can work well together."

Currently ranked seventh in the ICC's T20 rankings, Australia have traditionally under-performed in the 20-over game and the ICC World T20 trophy is the only major piece of silverware they are yet to win.

While the next World T20 tournament in Australia is more than two-and-a-half years away, Lehmann said planning for the event "has to start now".

"Ricky has a fantastic cricket brain and when it comes to Twenty20 cricket there aren’t many better in the world given his experience around the world, as a player, a coach and a commentator," Lehmann said in a statement.

"It’s an exciting prospect for us, as coaches, to have the chance to take advantage of Ricky’s Twenty20 knowledge and, for the players, the chance to work with one of Australia’s all-time greats will be just as exciting for them.

Ponting and Tim Paine during Australia's T20 series against Sri Lanka last year // Getty
Ponting and Tim Paine during Australia's T20 series last year // Getty

"The ICC World Twenty20 trophy is the only one that’s missing from the trophy cabinet at Cricket Australia and it would be great for us to put that right during the next edition of the tournament on home soil in 2020."

The three-week long T20 tri-series will start with Australia's match against New Zealand at the SCG on February 3. The series then moves to Hobart, Melbourne and Auckland ahead of the final at Eden Park on February 21.

2017-18 International Fixtures

Gillette ODI Series v England

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21

2017-18 International Results

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard

Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard

Third Test Australia won by an innings and 41 runs. Scorecard

Fourth Test Match drawn. Scorecard

Fifth Test Australia win by an innings and 123 runs. Scorecard