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Ricky Ponting confirmed as Washington Freedom head coach in Major League Cricket

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed head coach of Washington Freedom ahead of the second season of the Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States. He will take over from Sydney Sixers coach and his longtime mentor Greg Shipperd, who led Freedom to a third-place finish in the inaugural season.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining the Washington Freedom in 2024,” Ponting said in a statement. “Cricket is really on the rise in the US and I’m looking forward to being involved in Major League Cricket. I’ve been impressed by everyone involved at Washington Freedom, and, while it’s a bit surreal to be replacing my mate Greg Shipperd, there’s probably no one better to set up a successful franchise. I’m ready to build on his work as we look towards the coming season.”

Shipperd stepped down to focus on Cricket New South Wales Blues and the Sixers in Australia’s domestic circuit.

Ponting is currently the head coach of Delhi Capitals in the IPL, and has previously filled roles in cricket’s short form with the Mumbai Indians and the Australian men’s team. He will be coaching the Washington DC based MLC side for the next two years.

Michael Klinger, the CNSW Head of Male T20 Cricket and General Manager of Cricket at Washington Freedom, said Ponting’s signing would have a significant impact on the organisation and cricket in the USA.

“Ricky was one of the most recognised and revered cricketers in the world during his playing days and is now one of the most respected and coveted coaches on the global circuit,” Klinger said. “It is a huge coup, not only for Washington Freedom and the partnership with Cricket NSW, but more holistically for Major League Cricket and cricket in North America in general.

“Players want to play for Ricky. He has an incredible eye for talent and a skill in bringing the best out of those players. Ricky will work with some of our CNSW coaches and players who are part of the Washington Freedom set up and we look forward to building on the foundations for success from the first edition of MLC.”

Freedom owner Sanjay Govil said Ponting’s appointment would continue the positive evolution for MLC and build on the foundation of the first year.

“Reflecting on the success of MLC’s inaugural season and the aspiration to elevate cricket in the USA, we are poised to build upon the foundations laid last year,” Govil said. “Our journey saw us capture the imagination of the cricket-passionate local community, showcasing the burgeoning talent within the US and igniting a passion for the sport. As we look to the future, it’s clear that our ambitions require a figure of unmatched stature and expertise.

“It is with immense pride and anticipation that we welcome Ricky Ponting as our head coach. Ricky’s legendary status, characterized by his leadership, winning mindset, and commitment to nurturing talent, aligns perfectly with our goals. His understanding of our vision – to enhance the sport’s profile in the US and to develop local talent – resonates with our mission.

Freedom have Cricket NSW as their high-performance partner, and had Matthew Short, Moises Henriques, Glenn Phillips among others turn up for them.

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