Ponting signs coaching deal
Ricky Ponting has been appointed as an assistant coach for Australia's looming World Cup campaign.
Ponting will work with Australia's limited overs batsmen, with regular batting coach Graeme Hick to focus on batting preparations for the following Ashes Test series against England.
Ponting, who has previously worked short-term with Australia's ODI and Twenty20 squads, will start his new role after Australia's limited overs series against India and Pakistan.
Australia's World Cup campaign begins on June 1.
Ponting said helping the team in a World Cup campaign will make this short-term role more significant than his previous cameos for coach Justin Langer and former Aussie coach Darren Lehmann.
"I've enjoyed my previous short-term roles with the ODI and T20 teams, but World Cups take on a whole different meaning for me," he said.
"I have enormous confidence in the players available to the selectors and know we will be as tough to beat as any team."
Langer said Ponting's role will eventually expand beyond his brief as limited overs batting coach.
"Ricky knows what's required to win World Cups and I know he will be a valuable mentor to not just the batting group, but the broader squad," Australian coach Justin Langer said in a statement on Friday.
"He has an impressive understanding of the game, he knows what's required to prepare and perform at the elite level, and we can't wait for him to get started working with the squad."
Cricket Australia's interim high performance boss Belinda Clark announced the big news on Friday.
"This appointment also provides an opportunity for Graeme Hick to focus on preparation for the Ashes," said Clark.
"With two major events back to back we believe it is important to focus a number of staff specifically on one event. The appointment of Ricky is a part of this overall strategy.
"Ricky will assist Justin across a number of key areas including strategy and game-plan, but he will also work closely with and mentor the batting group as they prepare for the English conditions."
The huge news comes one day after the sudden exit of Australia's bowling coach David Saker. Saker resigned effective immediately on Thursday.
Troy Cooley will serve as bowing coach on upcoming limited-overs tours of India and the UAE, but Cricket Australia is yet to make a call on Saker's full-time replacement.
According to reports Aussie legend Jason Gillespie is among the front-runners that Cricket Australia will look at as a long-term bowling coach position.
Ponting's return comes after a damning report in December that claimed Langer's attempt to recruit Ponting to his coaching staff was thwarted by Cricket Australia's limited coaching budget. It seems they have found the beans needed to attract one of the best cricketing minds on the planet.
The Australian batting legend has previously been called on by Langer, providing assistance during June's ODI tour of England and attending a net session in Perth in December to mentor Aaron Finch.
He also assisted former coach Darren Lehmann during a T20 tri-series against New Zealand and England last year.