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Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting has officially joined the Washington Freedom franchise for the upcoming season of Major League Cricket (MLC). Ponting, currently serving as the head coach of the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), will take on a similar role with the Washington team.
Ricky Ponting replaces Greg Shipperd
Ponting steps into the shoes of veteran Australian coach Greg Shipperd, who led the Washington Freedom in the inaugural season of MLC. Shipperd decided to step down from his position, citing a desire to focus more on domestic cricket in Australia, particularly his coaching role with the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League (BBL).
Support staff composition
Ponting will be joined by a formidable support staff that includes South African cricketing legend Dale Steyn, as well as fellow Australians Michael Klinger and Burt Cockley. This team of experienced mentors aims to build on Shipperd’s foundation and lead the Washington Freedom to success in the upcoming season of MLC.
Ponting’s enthusiasm for the role
Expressing his excitement about joining the Washington Freedom, Ponting highlighted the growing popularity of cricket in the United States. He also praised Shipperd for his previous contributions to the team and expressed readiness to continue building on his work.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining the Washington Freedom in 2024. Cricket is really on the rise in the US and I’m looking forward to being involved in Major League Cricket. I’ve been impressed by everyone involved at Washington Freedom, and, while it’s a bit surreal to be replacing my mate Greg Shipperd, there’s probably no one better to set up a successful franchise. I’m ready to build on his work as we look towards the coming season” said Ponting on his appointment.
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Washington Freedom’s performance in MLC 2023
In the previous season of Major League Cricket, under Shipperd’s leadership, the Washington Freedom finished third in the table with six points. Despite winning three out of five matches, they were eliminated after a defeat to MI New York in the Eliminator match.
Matthew Short emerged as their leading run-scorer with 152 runs from six matches, while USA fast bowler Saurabh Netravalkar led the bowling attack with 10 wickets. As Ponting steps into his new role with the Washington Freedom, fans eagerly anticipate the team’s performance in the upcoming season.