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Ricky Ponting in talks to coach Washington Freedom in Major League Cricket

Ricky Ponting could become the biggest signing coup in Major League Cricket’s short history after confirming he is in talks to coach the Washington Freedom.

The legendary former Australian captain is deciding if he can commit to both the US-based MLC competition and commentary duties at the T20 World Cup, to be held in North America and the Caribbean in June.

The second edition of MLC will begin only four days after the T20 World Cup final is played in Barbados on June 30.

Ponting would be the highest-profile signing with MLC, a six-team competition that debuted last year and has received financial backing from IPL sides.

“We’re not there yet, I haven’t committed to anything just yet, but I’ve had some initial discussions [with Washington],” Ponting told SEN. “The time of the year sort of fits in okay for me, but I’ve got a really hectic off-season again. When I say off-season, there’s no such thing as an off-season for cricketers anymore.”

Ponting will coach IPL side the Delhi Capitals for a sixth consecutive year from next month ahead of his potential involvements with MLC and the World Cup.

A highly rated pundit for Channel 7, Ponting is not yet locked in to commentate the T20 World Cup. The World Cup will be the first broadcast in Australia on streaming service Amazon Prime, which acquired exclusive rights to ICC events until 2027 in a landmark deal struck last year.

“It’s potentially another big year of time away if I want it, so there are things I’ve got to work through,” Ponting said. “If I’m actually going to be commentating the T20 World Cup or not and if I’m not doing that, where does MLC fit in?”

Ponting previously coached the Mumbai Indians and has worked in the Australian set-up, most recently as an assistant to former head coach Justin Langer.

“I love the coaching side of it,” Ponting said. “I love working with the best players in the world and trying to find a way to make them better, and winning some games along the way.”

Ponting’s former Australian team-mate Shane Watson was coach of the San Francisco Unicorns last season, while Aaron Finch, Dwayne Bravo, Rashid Khan and Quinton de Kock were among star players involved.

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