Ponting ready to call fast and furious summer of Big Bash
THIS summer of cricket will be the most entertaining yet, says Ricky Ponting.
Between the introduction of day-night Test matches and the pink ball to the increasingly competitive Big Bash League and the commercial TV debut of the Women's Big Bash League, there will be no shortage of cricket on our screens over the next few months.
Ponting is looking forward to his third year in the commentary box for Channel 10.
"For us it never feels like work," Ponting tells APN.
"We all know each other really well and we've created a bit of a team with all the production guys as well.
"We have a lot of fun doing what we're doing and I think that comes across in the coverage. I'm looking forward to another season getting under way."
The former Test and one-day captain said the T20 format lent itself to a more lighthearted style of commentary.
"Adam Gilchrist and I have only recently retired, so we can elaborate more on the tactical side of the game," he says.
"Damian Fleming and Mark Waugh are the two who generally lighten things up. The mix in the commentary box is really good. It's about those families and young kids who come to the Big Bash but also the ones who can't get there. We want to make sure they're enjoying it too."
Ponting says two-time defending champions Perth Scorchers would be the team to beat.
"The final last year (between Perth and the Sydney Sixers) was one of the most unbelievable matches you'll ever see," he says.
"You'd have to say they'll be one of the teams to beat. But looking at the squads it's more even than ever before. Sydney Thunder have recruited really well and have really strong squad this year.
"We've got probably the best batch of international players here that we've had since the Big Bash started."
For the first time this year, Ten will also broadcast eight matches, including the final, of the inaugural season of the Women's Big Bash League.
"It's a great inclusion to Big Bash cricket and great recognition for the women, especially since the Australian team for a long time now has been quite clearly the best women's' international team in the world," Ponting says.
"Their game is starting to become a lot more professional and they're getting paid better than ever before.
"For them to be included in the tournament is a great sign for women's cricket."
The 2015/16 Big Bash League starts on Thursday on Channel 10.