Surrey County Cricket Club have agreed terms to sign former Australian captain Ricky Ponting on a two month deal.
Ponting, 38, will play for the club throughout June and July. He will be available for selection in all formats, initially as cover for captain Graeme Smith, who is likely to be involved in the ICC Champions Trophy.
Widely considered to be one of the finest Australian batsmen of all time, Ponting has played for his country in 560 matches across all formats, scoring 27,483 runs at an average of 45.95. During this time he scored 71 centuries and captained the side from 2004 to 2010.
He played his last Test for Australia in December last year but has continued scoring runs in the Sheffield Shield. In his most recent appearance for Tasmania, Ponting hit an unbeaten 200 and is also due to represent the Mumbai Indians in the upcoming Indian Premier League.
Ponting is likely to feature throughout the group stages of Surrey’s Friends Life t20 campaign and will also be available to play at the Guildford Festival, which this year is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Speaking this week, Ponting said: “I’m really excited to be playing for Surrey this season. They are a forward thinking and historic club – and play at one of the greatest grounds in the world. It hasn’t been the friendliest place for me but now it will be my home for two months this summer.
“I’d like to think I can contribute a significant amount to the club – on and off the field – and am looking forward to getting stuck in as soon as I arrive.”
Surrey Team Director Chris Adams added: “We knew we would lose Graeme to the ICC Champions Trophy in June. That given, we focused on recruiting the best possible replacement and, in Ricky Ponting, we have signed one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era.
“This year, our young batsmen will enjoy a unique opportunity to learn from not just one but two of the greatest International players of the modern age.”