Ponting: Langer job could not have been tougher

By Sports Desk February 11, 2019

Ricky Ponting believes the job "control freak" Justin Langer has faced could not have been any tougher after taking over as Australia head coach in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.

Langer was named as Darren Lehmann's successor last May, just over a month after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for their parts in a Newlands debacle which rocked Australian cricket.

Ponting is looking forward to helping ease his former team-mate's workload after being appointed as his assistant for the World Cup in England.

"I think it's been as hard on him as it possibly could be just because of the situation Australian cricket has found itself in with some senior players being out, a lot of changes happening internally," said the former Australia captain.

"Knowing what Justin is like as well, I'm not . . . well I will say it, he's a bit of a control freak. He wants to make sure that everything is exactly how he wants it to be and that's the way it should be as the head coach of the Australian cricket team.

"You should have everything lined up the way you want it. He's just come into the job at a really difficult time.

"That's what makes it even more exciting for me to get in and get my hands dirty and help him out as much as I possibly can. We are great mates. We know each other really well.

"We'll work really well together, I'm sure, if he can put up with me. But no doubt it's been tough, but I think I'll be able to take a bit of that workload away from him when I get involved as well."

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    Mohammad Amir has missed out on a spot in Pakistan's 15-man squad for the Cricket World Cup.

    The paceman was Player of the Match when Pakistan claimed ICC Champions Trophy glory against India in England two years ago.

    But he has failed to take a wicket in nine of the 14 ODIs he has played since that triumph and has been omitted from Pakistan's team for cricket's showpiece in England and Wales.

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    "Shoaib Malik and Hafeez have played in World Cups before, which makes them experienced and qualified to provide the required stability to the middle-order," said chairman of Pakistan's men's selection committee Inzamam-ul-Haq.

    "Hafeez has not played any cricket for the past 10-odd weeks, but he has always featured in our plans. 

    "Although his inclusion in the World Cup squad is subject to fitness, yesterday we got a boost when he started playing with a tennis ball with his doctor confirming he will be available for selection for the series against England.

    "Our World Cup opener is on 31 May against the Windies, which is still six weeks away, and we are confident he will be fully fit and ready to display his vast international experience."

    Abid Ali gets the nod as back-up opener over Shan Masood, while teenage pacemen Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi are included.

    "Hasnain has been selected due to his sheer pace and speed," Inzamam added.

    "He may not have played many ODIs but he has already made an impact by making the top batsmen hop and run in his brief career while also picking up wickets."

    Eleven members of the squad that won the Champions Trophy are named in the World Cup squad.

     

    Pakistan squad in full: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik

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