Ponting back as Aussie T20 assistant coach

Vince Rugari
Ricky Ponting is back as Australian assistant coach for the T20 series with England and New Zealand

Ricky Ponting has re-joined Australia's Twenty20 team as an assistant coach for next month's tri-series with England and New Zealand.

The former Test skipper, having worked last year with the T20 squad, will return to bolster Darren Lehmann's support staff, along with Australian women's coach Matthew Mott and Troy Cooley, the head coach of the national performance program.

The trio will fill in as assistants Graeme Hick, David Saker and Brad Haddin head to South Africa ahead of the four-match Test tour starting on March 1 in Durban.

Ponting is well-versed in the shortest form of the game - he captained Australia in the first ever T20 international in 2005 and played in the Carribean Premier League and Indian Premier League, while also helming Big Bash League commentary in recent years.

"I loved working with the squad last year against Sri Lanka and I can't wait to be working alongside Darren, Troy and Matthew this time around," Ponting said.

"Watching the KFC Big Bash League in my role as a commentator has shown me we have a wealth of talent available to us in this format and a tri-series like this will give us a great chance to establish a pattern of play that works best for the players."

Lehmann said Ponting was one of the sport's foremost minds when it comes to T20 cricket and an important figure ahead of the ICC World Twenty20, which Australia will host in 2020.

"The ICC World Twenty20 trophy is the only one that's missing from the trophy cabinet at Cricket Australia and it would be great for us to put that right," Lehmann said.

"To do that the planning and preparation has to start now and so the chance to have this run of matches against two top sides in conditions we're set to face in two years and for us to have Ricky as one of our backroom staff is great news."