After former Indian batsman Rahul Dravid decided to step down as Delhi Daredevils coach after the 2017 edition of the tournament, it remained to be seen who the franchise will turn towards for coaching duties. Dravid chose to coach India A and India Under-19 teams and had to step down due to BCCI’s conflict-of-interest regulations.
At the IPL 2018 Player Retention event in Mumbai on Thursday, DD owners announced that they have appointed former Australian captain Ricky Ponting as the coach for the upcoming season of the T20 tournament. The 42-year old, who previously took on coaching duties for Mumbai Indians for two years, and won the title in 2015 as the coach, spoke to Cricket Australia about the importance of IPL tournament and said it is a big platform for all world class players.
“It’s a huge tournament, you’re working with the best players in the world and you’re unearthing and seeing some incredible Indian talent. I think the best way to describe the IPL to people who haven’t been there or seen it is you talk to the young Aussie guys who go and play and they say every game is like an AFL Grand Final. the atmosphere that’s created around a lot of these venues is unbelievable,” he said.
The former right-hand batsman also said the timing of the tournament fits perfect with his personal commitments. “For all those reasons it’s great to be part of, and the other thing is that it’s eight or nine weeks. It’s not a huge time commitment so it fits in really well with where my life’s at,” Ponting said.
The 3-time World Cup winning Australian, who acted as Australia’s interim batting coach during T20 series against Sri Lanka in 2017, said that coaching for him is a way to give back to the sport which he is passionate about.
“At the end of the day that’s what coaching is for me, having the feeling that you’ve actually improved someone and had an impact on the way they go about their cricket. And you’ve made them better as a cricketer and a person. I think that should be the motivating factor for all coaches anyway. It’s no different for me,” he said.
Ponting added that Australia have failed to perform their best in T20 cricket because of lack of experience in the format. “Until we start paying more attention to the T20 game…I don’t think we’ll ever improve. Yes, we have the Big Bash but we don’t play much other T20 cricket in Australia so – unless you’re playing in the IPL – our players aren’t playing a lot, and they’re not playing a lot together,” he said.