Ricky Ponting, the head coach of the Delhi Capitals and a former captain of Australia, has been named as the next head coach of Washington Freedom. Following Dhiraj Malhotra's appointment as the franchise's first CEO, the two have rekindled their five-year working connection. As part of the support team, Ponting will work alongside former bitter rival Dale Steyn as well as other Australians Michael Klinger and Burt Cockley. Ponting replaces experienced Australian coach Greg Shipperd.
"Joining the Washington Freedom in 2024 excites me much. I'm excited to be a part of Major League Cricket because the sport is growing in popularity in the US. Although it feels a little strange to be taking over for my friend Greg Shipperd, I've been impressed by everyone at Washington Freedom, and I don't think anyone could build a more successful franchise. Regarding his appointment, Ponting stated, "I'm eager to build on his work as we approach the upcoming season."
"We are ready to expand on the foundations created last year, as we reflect on the success of MLC's inaugural season and the goal to elevate cricket in the USA. During our voyage, we ignited a passion for cricket and showcased the rising potential in the US, capturing the attention of the enthusiastic local community. Our goals obviously call for a person with unparalleled stature and experience, as we look to the future," stated Sanjay Govil, owner of the Washington Freedom.
We are thrilled to announce Ricky Ponting as our new head coach, and we are full of expectation. Ricky's legendary status, which is defined by his winning mentality, leadership, and dedication to developing talent, is a perfect fit with our objectives. Govil continued, "His comprehension of our goal to raise the sport's profile in the US and to foster local talent aligns with our mission."
After the Freedom signed a strategic partnership with Cricket NSW, Ponting's arrival increases Australian influence on the young team. Freedom brought its American-based players, notably Jacobus Pienaar and Andries Gous, to Sydney in January to practice in the Cricket NSW environment in compliance with the agreement.