ANI Photo | “There were few one-to-one conversations…”: Ponting on being approached to coach Indian team

Former Australian captain and batting great Ricky Ponting revealed that he was approached for the job of Team India head coach during the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but he declined because it does not fit into his current lifestyle, when he is focused on spending more time with his family.
Ponting’s statement comes after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) invited the applications for position of men’s national team head coach earlier this month, with the tenure starting from July 1 this year and concluding on December 31, 2027, which will the year when the next 50-over Cricket World Cup will take place.
Ponting recently concluded his seventh season as coach of the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League and the legend had mixed fortunes during this year’s tournament with his side narrowly missing out on the playoffs, finishing in sixth spot with seven wins, seven losses and 14 points.
Having done coaching stints in the IPL with Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi and filling in as Australia’s national T20I coach on an interim basis in the past, Ponting has so far resisted the urge to take on the rigours of a high-profile national team on a full-time basis.
But with current head coach Rahul Dravid’s time as India’s head coach coming to an end after this year’s T20 World Cup in June and the Men in Blue on the lookout for a new person to take the reins, Ponting is among a host of former greats to have been approached about the role.
“I have seen a lot of reports about it. Normally these things pop up on social media before you even know about them, but there were a few little one-on-one conversations during the IPL, just to get a level of interest from me as to whether I would do it,” said Ponting as quoted by ICC.
“I would love to be a senior coach of a national team, but with the other things that I have in my life and wanting to have a bit of time at home…everyone knows if you take a job working with the Indian team you cannot be involved in an IPL team, so it would take that out of it as well.”
“Also, a national head coach it is a 10 or 11-month of the year job, and as much as I would like to do it, it just does not fit into my lifestyle right now and the things that I really enjoy doing,” he concluded his point.
Ponting is one of many former greats to have been linked to the India coaching job, with fellow IPL coaches Justin Langer and Stephen Fleming other names to have been floated.
“I have seen a few other names thrown about as well. Justin Langer’s name got thrown in yesterday, Stephen Fleming’s name has been thrown about a little bit,” Ponting noted.
“Gautam Gambhir’s name has been thrown around a little bit the last couple of days as well. But I think it would be unlikely for me just on the reasons that I have given there,” he added.
Ponting has his family travelling with him during his recent stint in Delhi, and said there was a moment when he floated the idea of him becoming India’s coach to his son and youngest child Fletcher. His son reacted positively to the idea, encouraging his father to take it.
“My family and my kids have spent the last five weeks over at the IPL with me and they come over every year and I had a whisper to my son about it, and I said, ‘Dad has been offered the Indian coaching job’ and he said, ‘Just take it dad, we would love to move over there for the next couple of years,” Ponting laughed.
“That is how much they love being over there and the culture of cricket in India, but right now it probably does not exactly fit into my lifestyle,” he signed off. (ANI)

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