Ponting fiasco exposes Aussie ‘crisis’
Justin Langer's reported desire to have Aussie cricket legend Ricky Ponting join his coaching staff has been overruled by Cricket Australia's stretched coaching budget.
The Australian's Peter Lalor reports Langer wants to bolster his coaching squad by adding Ponting and fellow Aussie great Simon Katich to the mix, but has been unable to compete with the money the pair are able to earn through television deals and overseas coaching.
The reports makes it clear that Langer is entirely satisfied with top lieutenants David Saker, Brad Haddin and batting coach Graeme Hick, but the former opening batsman has also identified Ponting and Katich as desirable additions.
Hick has come under fire recently for the fragile state of the Australian batting line-up with Test legend Shane Warne last month calling for Cricket Australia to swing the axe following Australia's struggles against South Africa on home soil.
Cricket Australia's inability to secure the signatures of Ponting and Katich, who both have deals with Channel 7, has exposed a broader "crisis" of retiring cricket greats choosing to chase careers in media over coaching.
The report claims the dollars involved with professional cricket coaching in Australia are simply not competitive with other options available for Aussie cricket greats.
Ponting in May reportedly signed a multi-million dollar deal with Seven and also earns around $600,000 for his Indian Premier League coaching role.
Langer is reportedly the highest-earning coach Australia has ever had, with an annual salary of $1 million - but he is trumped by several players in the Aussie squad, including star Glenn Maxwell, who have played just a handful of international matches in 2018.
Maxwell's superior salary to Langer is just one of several startling revelations in The Australian's report, including:
- Highly rated Aussie coach Jason Gillespie earns more coaching Sussex in the English County competition than he would if he returned to coach in Australia
- One of the Big Bash franchise coaches last summer earned just $30,000; and
- Australian batting coach Michael Di Veneto left to join Surrey in 2016 because Cricket Australia refused to pay an additional $50,000.
Ponting last summer was able to balance his Twenty20 assistant coaching position with his TV commitments, but Langer has been unable to find a way to lure him back this summer.
Ponting has previously said he will continue to help the Aussie team when able.
His return would be a welcome boost for the Aussie side after he received widespread praise from the Twenty20 outfit last summer.
"He was great for me through those games," Queensland fast-bowler Billy Stanlake told cricket.com.au recently of Ponting.
"So he instilled great confidence in me.
"When he spoke, everyone was glued to what he had to say. We know what a great cricket brain he has."
Langer earlier this week opened up on the mental toll he has endured while guiding the Aussie team following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
"They've been bashed for nine months a lot of them and you now have a couple of hours where you can sit back and enjoy it," Langer told Fox Cricket after his team's win over India in Perth.
"So much goes into every Test match. Test matches are really tiring mentally for the coaches, physically and mentally for the players.
"There's been a lot of emotion in the last nine months, so it's good to get a result."