Australian Cricket Captain Ricky Ponting Signs Short-Term Deal With Surrey
Former Australia cricket captain RICKY PONTING "has signed a short-term deal to play for Surrey in a significant coup for the county," according to Tom Collomosse of the London INDEPENDENT. The deal means "the man who led his country on their last two Ashes tours" in '05 and '09, but retired from the int'l game in December "will be in England during this summer's Ashes series" playing for Surrey in June and July. New skipper GRAEME SMITH is the county's other "high-profile signing" and is due to represent South Africa in the Int'l Cricket Council Champions Trophy during that period (INDEPENDENT, 2/21). In Melbourne, Chris Barrett wrote Ponting "will remain with the county, whose base is the Oval, while the Ashes series begins at Trent Bridge" on July 10. "I'm exceptionally excited to be back in England," Ponting said, "I've only had one chance to play in county cricket before now, and I've always said I wanted to come back" (THE AGE, 2/22). PTI reported Ponting will replace HARBHAJAN SINGH as the captain of the Mumbai Indians for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League on April 3. The Mumbai Indians bought Ponting "at a base price of $400,000 during the IPL players' auction held in Chennai earlier this month" (PTI, 2/21).