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Ponting called to fix Hurricanes' problems

02 February 2017

Ricky Ponting during his Hurricanes playing days // Getty

Hurricanes hope local hero could be the answer to turning around their KFC Big Bash fortunes

Cricket Tasmania have turned to golden boy Ricky Ponting to reverse the fortunes of the Hobart Hurricanes after another disappointing KFC Big Bash League campaign.

Ponting has been asked to conduct a full review into the Hurricanes' BBL|06 season after they won just three out of their eight matches and finished seventh, just above the Sydney Thunder on net run rate.

The Hurricanes have yet to confirm exactly what role Ponting will take on with the club, but the former Australian captain will have an ongoing role reviewing the side's performance, coaching, management and recruitment structures.

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"He will assume an ongoing role with the Hurricanes that will be announced in due course," Hobart said in a statement on Thursday.

The decision to bring in Ponting, who will hold an assistant coaching role with Australia’s T20 side against Sri Lanka this month, comes five days after Damien Wright was axed as coach.

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Last week, Ponting ruled out taking over from Wright as Hurricanes coach.

"You never say never, but I am pretty comfortable with where my cricket commitments are at the moment,” Ponting, who coached the Mumbai Indians in 2015 and 2016 but will not be in charge of the club in 2017, told News Ltd.

"I got asked that question (coaching the Hurricanes) a couple of days ago and it surprised me a little bit because I haven’t ever entertained that thought, I have never been asked either to do it.

"I really enjoy what I do with the commentary side of things.

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"It is a six or seven-week period­ in my life which is really busy, but a really enjoyable one. I enjoy being able to talk about the game and work with my mates.

"I have had a chance to coach in India in the last couple of years and really enjoyed that. That gives a bit of competition back in my life I haven’t had for the last couple of years since I finished playing."

Wright led the Hurricanes to the decider of BBL|03 in 2014, as well as the finals of the (now-defunct) Champions League later that year.

But Hobart have been absent from the finals for the past three KFC Big Bash League seasons and finished seventh with a 3-5 win-loss record this summer.

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Despite bringing in English paceman Stuart Broad and marquee international Kumar Sangakkara, the Hurricanes struggled to make an impression in the competition.

Sangakkara, in particular, made 16, 15, 12, 22no and three before being dropped for the final three matches.

Broad played all eight matches in his first season with the Hurricanes, returning eight wickets.

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The highlight for the Hurricanes during their BBL|06 campaign was a memorable win over the Melbourne Renegades on January 12.

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Young batsman Ben McDermott, who replaced Sangakkara for the last three games, blazed a match-winning 114 from 52 balls at Etihad Stadium, with his innings including nine sixes and eight boundaries.

The Hurricanes also tasted victory against the Adelaide Strikers and finalist Sydney Sixers.

 

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Hobart Hurricanes

KFC BBL|06

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