Batting legend Ricky Ponting, who is mentoring Delhi Daredevils in the ongoing Indian Premier League, has made it clear that his new commentary contract with Channel 7 will not hamper his coaching ambitions.
On Friday (May 11), Channel 7 confirmed that they had roped in Ponting for their cricket coverage. Just a month ago, Channel 7 along with Fox Sports had secured the broadcasting rights of Test matches in Australia and the KFC Big Bash League for the next six years.
"Being with Channel 7 now, if anything, probably enhances my opportunities to coach whether that be over here in India in the IPL or maybe some more involvement around the Australian team," Ponting told Channel 7 as per the quotes in cricket.com.au.
"This relationship for me will probably open up more coaching opportunities. That was one of the reasons why I made the decision to do what I do. First and foremost, I love the game of cricket, I love broadcasting the game of cricket.
"I’ve had a wonderful last four or five years doing that on the Big Bash coverage back in Australia. I’m excited to do that again for the next few years. I’m sure we’ll get a really exciting and passionate group of commentators to work alongside. The coaching thing will always be there in the background when I need it," he added.
Ponting, who has led Australia to 2 World Cup triumphs during the course of his 17-year long and illustrious career, also backed his good friend Justin Langer to revive and rebuild the team culture, approach and public perception of Australian cricket. Earlier this month, Langer was named as the successor of former coach Darren Lehmann by Cricket Australia. Lehmann had resigned in the aftermath of the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.
"Couldn’t think of a better man to come in and take over as coach of the Australian cricket team," Ponting said.
"I must admit I was devastated for Darren Lehmann to make that decision to stand down like he did. I’m a great mate of Darren’s and I think he’s done an amazing job as coach of the Australian cricket team. But I’m probably even closer to Justin Langer. In our playing days we were probably like inseparable brothers – we did everything together. I think we’ve got very similar thoughts and ideas on the game and team culture,” he added.
Punter also asserted that he would love to work with Langer as an assistant coach.
"Justin is absolutely the right man and if I can get involved in any way trying to help him out, maybe even as an assistant coach around the T20 format or one-day format then absolutely, I’d love to do that,” he remarked.
"I had a chance to do that in New Zealand in a tri-angular series working under Darren Lehmann – I absolutely loved being back around that team environment again, so fingers crossed those opportunities might present themselves in the next few months as well," Ponting concluded.