Brendon McCullum wasn’t England’s first pick to be the team’s head coach of its Test team.
In fact, Ricky Ponting has revealed he got the call from Rob Key, the English Cricket Board’s director of men’s cricket, ahead of the New Zealand great.
It’s a startling revelation amid revived enthusiasm in England for the game under the so-called ‘Bazball’ style of play.
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However, the aggressive approach mightn’t have come to pass if Ponting had taken up the offer.
“I actually got asked before Brendon took the job – there you go, you guys might be the first to find that out – but I did take some calls from Robert Key as soon as he took over that job,” Ponting told Guerilla Cricket.
Ultimately, Ponting put his family first and had to turn Key down. It’s a decision he doesn’t regret having seen the travel demands on McCullum and his family.
“But I’m just not ready for a full-time international coaching job where I’m at in my life,” Ponting added.
“Having travelled as much as I have, with young kids now I just don’t want to be away as much as I was.
“And even talking to Brendon, his family is only just arriving today. When you’ve got kids that are in school, moving them around, that’s not what I want to do.”
Ponting is no stranger to coaching. He has led the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League since 2018 and was the interim coach of the Australia team in 2017 and ’18.
It would seem, for now, that the door to England is closed while McCullum steers England through his first Ashes.
Since taking the reins of the team and appointing Ben Stokes as the Test captain, England’s average runs per over has rocketed from 2.9 to 4.6 since he took charge.
Bazball has been a revelation for the Test team, but it has proven risky at times.
Stokes’ propensity to declare with wickets in hand, and early in the eyes of some, cost them in the opening Ashes encounter.
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Australia won the first Test at Edgbaston after England declared on 8/393 in the first innings with Joe Root undefeated on 118.
England sought to take early wickets late on day one but failed to do so, offering Australia a chance to bat on the flat wicket and come just short of that total, all out for 386.
Australia proceeded to bowl England out for 273 and went on to chase 281, with captain Pat Cummins the second highest top scorer in the second innings for his country on 44.
The Ashes continue with the second Test on Wednesday, June 28 at Lords.
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