IPL 2013 news February 21, 2013

Ricky Ponting to lead Mumbai Indians

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Mumbai Indians have appointed former Australia captain Ricky Ponting as their captain for the sixth edition of IPL, which starts from April 3.

Ponting, who retired from international cricket at the end of 2012, was bought at the base price of $400,000 during the player auction earlier this month. Despite the buzz circulating around Sachin Tendulkar to be re-appointed as the captain ahead of the auction, the new Mumbai think-tank of mentor Anil Kumble and coach John Wright have zeroed-in on Ponting to lead the side.

Mumbai explained the change of heart through a media statement. "Ricky has a lot of experience to lead a competitive and a high-profile side like Mumbai Indians in the IPL," Kumble said. "Sachin readily agreed to my suggestion that Mumbai Indians is best served when he leads the batting unburdened by the rigours of captaincy. It was our idea (Sachin and mine) to bring in Ricky as the captain of the Mumbai Indians."

However, Mumbai's tactics of creating a buzz around Tendulkar to be re-instated as the captain were termed as an "eyewash" ahead of the auction. "Mumbai Indians were not the only team who were interested in Ponting at the auction. So just to take the attention away from the former Australia captain, it seems they would have adopted the strategy of floating Tendulkar's name as the captain [on the eve of the auction]," an official from another franchise said.

Ponting, however, was looking forward to the new responsibility. "It's a huge honour and I thank Mrs [Nita] Ambani and the Mumbai Indians management for the faith they have reposed in my abilities. Mumbai Indians has the potent combination of Indian and international cricketers and I look forward to leading the team to play to its full potential," said Ponting, who made a brief appearance for Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural IPL edition in 2008.

The owners of the Mumbai franchise, IndiaWin Sports Pvt Ltd - a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd - were delighted to have Tendulkar and Ponting as a potential opening partnership. "On behalf of the Mumbai Indians family, I welcome Ricky Ponting to the team as the leader of the side," said Nita Ambani. "Today we have world's two biggest cricketing greats in Sachin and Ricky, and I am sure the duo will be an inspiration for the youngsters in the team. Sachin will always be an integral and important part of Mumbai Indians' leadership. Ricky will bring in fresh perspective in the team leadership and will have the support of the best cricketing minds like Sachin, Anil and John Wright."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on February 24, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    Well as i have seen him playing him in Big bash this year he was fantastic and its good for mumbai team to have some legend like pontig in their team well lets see what happens in future :)

  • dummy4fb on February 24, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    Good decision Mumbai Indians can win IPL-2013

  • dummy4fb on February 23, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    it's good move for Mumbai Indians to appoint as Pointing as their captain i am happy to see to great legends batting together

  • SamPayne on February 23, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Ponting & Malinga are now confirmed for 2 foreign slots . Remaining 2 foreign slots could be toss up between Pollard, Maxwell, Smith & Johnson. Pollard has not done anything special for last 2 seasons. I would prefer to go with smith & maxwell. Smith also can bowl couple of overs & maxwell gives a option of 3rd spinner & plays spin well. Johnson can come in on faster pitches (like Mohali). Also unlike Pollard, both Smith & Maxwell can open if required.

  • dummy4fb on February 22, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    MI is gonna rock the world this year!!!!!!

  • Avi56 on February 22, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    ok guys give me a break seriously...to all those people who think Rohit sharma is the best choice for Mi captaincy... First of all Let me give you an insight...Sharma played 35 T20I and managaed to score 531 runs at an average of 27...Ponting played in less than hallf those matches (17 matches) and scored 400 plus runs at an average of 28...so technically Ponting is a better t20 player at an international level..Secondly, Mumbai indians can never hold the middle order togaether burdening Sachin to clear the loop holes...Now there is one of the deadliest middle order batsman in the history of the game..AND NOW MAINLY..CONSIDERING PONTINGS LATEST FORM IN BIG BASH LEAGUE...PONTING WAS HOBART'S HIGHEST RUNS SCORER...so Ponting is the best choice...but mumbai will never lift the IPL cup ever so why to argue

  • dummy4fb on February 22, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    MI will win, they have the better team

  • MrJack on February 22, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    I strongly disagree this. Pointing is very good ODI and Test Batsman. But Not good T-20 Player.I think rohit is very young and easily approchable with Seniors for Captaincy. Ponting is not feet to T20 please change captain............. I disappointed to Anil Kumble

  • Pushpak-Martin on February 22, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    It will be definitely an eye catching glimpse to see the undisputed best batsman Mr.Sachin Tendulkar to play under the undisputed best captain Mr. Ricky Ponting. Hopefully everything goes well for Mumbai Indians. All the very Best Mumbaikairs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dummy4fb on February 22, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Considering the 3 certain foreign players are Ponting, Malinga and Pollard. It will be fun to see who fills the 4th spot. According to me it should be between Franklin & Maxwell depending upon the pitch condition. On slower tracks like Kolkata & Chennai it should be Maxwell and on faster track it should be Franklin