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'Let's Give Him a Contract': Ricky Ponting Recalls Being Impressed by Indian Bowler During Inaugural IPL

Ricky Ponting is now the head coach of Delhi Capitals. (AFP Photo)

Ricky Ponting is now the head coach of Delhi Capitals. (AFP Photo)

Ricky Ponting was part of Kolkata Knight Riders during the initial few years of IPL

Ashok Dinda had left quite an impression on Australian batting legend Ricky Ponting during the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League in 2008. Recalling his experience of facing Dinda during a training session for his first franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, Ponting told the then head coach John Buchanan to hand the bowler a contract.

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“Ashok Dinda was a net bowler for us at Kolkata, and for 7-10 days, he literally ran in and bowled bouncers at all of us for every session,” Ponting said in a video for Delhi Capitals. “And I ended up saying to John Buchanan that ‘there is something about this guy, let’s give him a contract.’”

Dinda played 78 IPL matches and took 69 wickets with a best of 4/18.

April 18 was the 14th anniversary of the famous knock from Brendon McCullum as he lit up the inaugural match of IPL when he blazed away to an unbeaten 158 for KKR against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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Ponting dipped into his memory of the match he was part of, recalling how he asked McCullum to slow down a bit but his plea fell on deaf ears.

“We didn’t really know about the tempo of the game or what the score was going to be,: Ponting said. “Brendon was opening the batting, and I was batting at three and got off to an unbelievable start. It seemed like everything he hit had just flew off the bat.”

He added, “I was trying to slow him down a little bit, and he was going harder and harder and ended up playing an incredible innings. What better than seeing the first game of the tournament than someone going out there and getting 158.”

Both McCullum and Ponting have now taken up coaching roles with different franchises in the IPL. While McCullum continues his storied association with KKR as their head coach, Ponting is the head coach of Delhi Capitals.

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first published:April 19, 2022, 22:45 IST