Ricky Ponting believes great mate Shane Warne would have been able to turn around England’s flagging fortunes if given a chance to coach the old enemy.
The legendary legspinner had confided to friends, in the weeks prior to his death on Friday, about being seriously interested in leading England.
“I’d like to do it, it’s a great time to be England coach… I think I’d do a pretty good job,” Warne told the Sky Sports cricket podcast last month.
Several people, including Warne’s long-time manager James Erskine, confirmed his coaching desire was genuine.
Fellow Australia legend Ponting had not heard about Warne’s ambitions but thinks he knows why.
“He didn’t (talk to me about that) because I would have tried talking him out of it pretty quickly,” the former Australia captain told the ICC website.
“I think he had a pretty good idea of things to talk to me about and not talk to me about.
“But he would have made a great coach.
“I know he’s done a bit of it in The Hundred (with the London Spirit) but having someone like Shane Warne to take over the England cricket team now he would have done a great job.
“He’s a huge loss to the world game, whether he would have done some coaching or just the insights he gives through his commentary we’re all going to miss that.”
In an emotional interview with fellow broadcaster Isa Guha, Ponting declared it was imperative to carry on Warne’s legacy as one of the sharpest cricket minds the game he has ever known.
“It’s up to us now that are still here, and have that great passion for the game, to carry on Shane’s legacy that he left,” Ponting said.
“I’ve known him for a long time and I think I understood him pretty well, so it’s up to me to let the world know what he was all about and hopefully I’ll be able to pass onto other people some of the things I’ve learnt from him.”
Warne’s death continues to reverberate around the world, with tributes continuing to flow for the charismatic larrikin, who is arguably Australia’s second-greatest cricketer after Sir Donald Bradman.
The MCG remains the most likely location for a state memorial service in coming weeks, with the cricket legend’s family to hold a private funeral first.
(Australian Associated Press)