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Ricky Ponting joins Australia coaching panel for Sri Lanka T20I series

Ricky Ponting has coached Mumbai Indians to title win in IPL 2015
Ricky Ponting has coached Mumbai Indians to title win in IPL 2015

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has been included in the coaching panel for the three-match Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka in February.

This will be the first time the 42-year-old has been associated with the Australian team after his retirement and will join the likes of his former team-mates Justin Langer and Jason Gillespie as the head coach Darren Lehmann will be busy with the senior team for the four-match Test series in India which kicks off from 23rd February.

Ponting, who is Australia's leading run-scorer in Tests and One-Day Internationals has played 17 Twenty20 International games and has captained the national team in the 2007 and 2009 editions of World T20.

He also has a rich coaching experience in the Indian Premier League where he guided Mumbai Indians to title win in 2015.

Ponting said he could not wait to join Langer and Gillespie in bringing up some of promising young talents in the country.

Ricky Ponting said: “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.

“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.”

Langer, who will be the head coach of the team for the Sri Lanka series is confident that Ponting's vast experience as a player and coach will be a big boost.

“It’s exciting that Ricky will be involved alongside Jason and myself during the Sri Lanka series as he was the one man I really wanted alongside us.

“His knowledge of the game and the way he reads it, coupled with his invaluable experience as an IPL coach with the Mumbai Indians means he knows the format inside-out. Add this to his playing and now commentary experiences in the BBL and he has all the makings of a great coach. I can't wait to work alongside my ex-captain and friend again.

“Ricky’s experience will add so much value to the group especially if, as seems likely, there are some fresh and relatively inexperienced faces in the squad with several senior players set to be in India at the same time.

“Just like Jason and myself, he will be coming into the series off the back of a long period watching Twenty20 cricket in the BBL and that will increase the chances of us hitting the ground running when the squad assembles.”

The three matches will be played in Melbourne, Victoria and Adelaide between 17th and 22nd February.

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