Ricky Ponting Named Head Coach of MLC franchise Washington Freedom


Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting (AFP Image)

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting (AFP Image)

Ricky Ponting, who is also currently the head coach of IPL side Delhi Capitals, signed a two-year deal with the Washington Freedom, owned by Indian-American businessman Sanjay Govil.

Australian batting legend Ricky Ponting was on Wednesday named head coach of the Washington Freedom franchise, ahead of the second season of Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States.

Ponting, who is also currently the head coach of IPL side Delhi Capitals, signed a two-year deal with the Washington Freedom, owned by Indian-American businessman Sanjay Govil.

Ponting, also a hugely successful former Australia captain, replaced compatriot Greg Shipperd at the helm of the Washington DC-based franchise.

The second season of the T20 League, to be competed among six teams, is set to be played in July, just a few days after the T20 World Cup in the USA and the West Indies in June.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining the Washington Freedom in 2024. Cricket is really on the rise in the US and I’m looking forward to being involved in Major League Cricket,” Ponting said in a statement.

Ponting said he consulted the Delhi Capitals owners if they have any issue with him taking up the top job at the Washington Freedom, as the IPL team has stakes in the MLC side.

“When I was first approached, the first thing I did was actually get on the phone to Delhi and see if they had any issue with it,” Ponting was quoted as saying in ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.

“They (Delhi Capitals) are a small shareholder in one of the other teams, but they were fine. They had no issue with me at all, which is great.”

Delhi Capitals co-owners GMR Group has stakes at another MLC franchise — the Seattle Orcas. Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella is the other owner of the Seattle-based franchise.

There was speculation that some top Australian players would also be interested in playing at the MLC. Cricket New South Wales took up a high-performance partnership role with the Washington Freedom last year.

“My job now, with the relationships I’ve had with some of these guys, hopefully those relationships and the right amount of money is enough to bring them to the Freedom,” said Ponting, who has also earlier coached IPL side Mumbai Indians.

“I think there’s huge potential, huge growth possibilities in the US, even with the IPL ownership model the way it is at the moment, I just think it’s got potential to become huge and I want to be a part of that journey along the way.”

Owners of Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders also own teams in the MLC. Four of the six teams in America’s T20 league will have owners from IPL.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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