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Ponting signs with ESPNcricinfo

Ricky Ponting speaks to reporters at a press conference during which he said the Perth Test will be his last AFP

Longtime reader, first-time writer Ricky Ponting has joined ESPNcricinfo to provide his unique and piercing insights on world cricket for the Australian summer, the 2015 World Cup and the Ashes tour that follows.

Ponting will pen columns, starting this week with his observations on Australia's humbling results against Pakistan in the UAE, and also speak through video on issues around the game.

"I'm really excited to be joining the team at ESPNcricinfo," Ponting said. "I've been an avid consumer of the site for many years and now can't wait to share my insights as a contributor, especially as the next 12 months will have so many gripping contests."

Sambit Bal, ESPNcricinfo's editor-in-chief, is delighted to be able to bring Ponting's thoughts on the game to the world over what shape as a highly eventful 12 months for the game.

"With three marquee events - India v Australia, the World Cup and Ashes - coming back-to-back over the next 12 months, Ricky Ponting is a massive signing for us. Apart from being a legend of our game, and a World Cup and Ashes hero, he is also a keen and articulate student of the game. His insights and intimate knowledge of the contemporary game will be an invaluable addition to our coverage."

Ponting's own career has coincided with that of ESPNcricinfo itself, for he made his first-class debut in the summer of 1992-93 when ideas for the site were first beginning to take shape, and his time as Australia's pre-eminent batsmen and most successful captain coincided with its growth as the world's leading digital cricket destination.

Ponting has spoken frankly and often to us as a captain and a player, most recently last year. His addition to ESPNcricinfo's team of writers and experts will only enhance the quality of our coverage.