Ricky Ponting in Talks for Major League Cricket Coaching Gig: Washington Freedom Beckons

Ricky Ponting, the Australian cricket legend, is in discussions to potentially take on the role of head coach for Major League Cricket’s Washington Freedom. As the league gains momentum, Ponting’s expertise could be a game-changer for the franchise.

Since the remarkable success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, the proliferation of T20 franchise leagues worldwide has surged. Over the past 10-15 years, countries like Australia, England, South Africa, and Pakistan have embraced the franchise model for their T20 leagues.

In addition to the traditional Test-playing nations, Associate ICC members have also joined the trend by organizing their franchise leagues. Initiatives like the Global T20 Canada and Abu Dhabi T10 paved the way for two new leagues: the ILT20 in the UAE and Major League Cricket (MLC) in the USA, both benefitting from IPL investments.

The inaugural season of MLC commenced in 2023, featuring six teams with T20 luminaries such as Andre Russell, Nicholas Pooran, Finn Allen, Quinton de Kock, and David Miller actively participating.

Also Read: Five Cricketers Who Never Scored An IPL Century

Is Major League Cricket Securing a Major Coup? Is Ricky Ponting Set to Assume Role as Head Coach for Washington Freedom?

Leading up to season two, the league is on the verge of its most significant signing, but it’s not a player. Ricky Ponting, the former Australian World Cup-winning captain, revealed in an interview with SEN in Australia that he has been approached to assume the role of head coach for the Washington Freedom. Ponting stated,

There have been some discussions. I haven’t committed to anything just yet but I’ve had some initial chats. The time of the year (when the MLC is on) fits in for me. I’ve got a few weeks now before the IPL which rolls into the T20 World Cup and the MLC is immediately after the World Cup.

Ponting has not committed to serving as a commentator for the T20 World Cup, leaving open the possibility of him working with the Washington Freedom even during the tournament.

In the previous season, the Washington Freedom was under the coaching of Greg Shipperd, with all-rounder Moises Henriques as captain. Although the team finished third in the table, they lost the Eliminator to eventual champions MI New York.

Ponting’s coaching experience is mainly in the IPL, where he coached the Mumbai Indians from 2014 to 2016 and the Delhi Daredevils/Capitals since 2018. Additionally, he served as an assistant coach for the Australian national team during a T20 tri-series involving England, Australia, and New Zealand in 2017.