Ponting tips bright future for Butterworth
Ricky Ponting might have been 20,000 kilometres away in St Kitts, but he kept up to date with Tasmania's maiden Pura Cup win at Hobart. And it could have been a suggestion from Ponting back in November that helped them to their 421-run victory - he advised Tim Coyle, Tasmania's coach, to give Luke Butterworth more opportunities.
Ponting played a one-day game with Butterworth for Tasmania against Victoria at Melbourne and was impressed with what he saw. Butterworth was Man of the Match in the Pura Cup final, scoring 66 and 106 and taking 4 for 33.
"I said to the coach then [in November] that I thought he should play him for the rest of the Pura Cup season," Ponting told AAP. "I watched the way he bowled and he looked pretty capable with the bat and I thought he could slot into our side really nicely, especially on a wicket at Bellerive that might have assisted the seamers.
"He has got a hundred in the final and he got 60 in the first innings as well. More importantly he has taken a lot of wickets in the last five games. He's only a young bloke as well. He's got a very bright future."
Ponting said the 15-hour time difference did not keep him from getting regular updates on Tasmania's progress. "I've had a chat to the boys and I've been speaking to Michael Di Venuto who is a good mate of mine," he said. "I haven't had my phone off for the last two nights, especially last night when we were racking up all those runs."
Ponting, who is technically the Tasmania captain although he rarely plays for them, said Coyle had done well to get the most out of his young squad. "Full credit to the coach and what he has done down there," he said. "He has stuck by a lot of the young blokes and given them opportunities. They have been the best team all year."