Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ponting Tells Struggling Surrey: I'll Be with You Next Week

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ponting Tells Struggling Surrey: I'll Be with You Next Week

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent

RICKY PONTING is due to begin his stint with Surrey in their Championship match at Derby next week after confirming his plans to arrive in London next Tuesday.

The former Australia skipper will be in England during an Ashes summer but, rather than helping his country battle for the urn, Ponting's duty will be to revitalise a Surrey side who have yet to win a match in Division One this term.

Surrey hope the arrival of Ponting, three times a losing Ashes captain, will turn around their fortunes. The county have already lost their captain, South Africa batsman Graeme Smith, because of an ankle injury and they have slipped to second-bottom of the table.

Gareth Batty is expected to remain as captain, with Ponting having only limited knowledge of the squad he will join. Yet the Tasmanian's influence and experience will clearly be called upon heavily.

Ponting is currently involved in the Indian Premier League, where he is captain of Mumbai Indians. The franchise have performed well in the regular season and were facing Chennai Super Kings today in one of the play-off matches to determine who will play in Sunday's final.

He would be keen to join Surrey on a high note, although Surrey members will be interested to know whether Ponting could link up with Kevin Pietersen in his early matches.

There have been conflicting accounts of when Pietersen might return from his knee injury and the batsman is still expected to be available for the first Ashes Test, which starts at Trent Bridge on July 10.

Yet until Pietersen returns to competitive action, concern remains. Standard Sport understands that Surrey have yet to hear from the 32-yearold regarding a possible comeback date before the Australian series begins. Surrey have three first-class matches next month, against Warwickshire starting on June 5, Sussex on June 12, and Yorkshire on June 21. …

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