Ricky has a bash at TV

Written By miftah nugraha on Sabtu, 29 Juni 2013 | 19.55

CHANNEL Ten has scored a coup in its cricket war with rival Nine by signing Tasmanian legend Ricky Ponting as a marquee commentator for this summer's Big Bash.

Nine has traditionally been the home of retired captains as the focus of its renowned coverage, but upstart Ten has usurped the cricket network.

Ponting, the most successful Test and one-day captain of all time, has signed a two-year deal with Ten as the network continues its drive to attract more elite sport.

Nine has a 55-year cricket lineage through former skippers, starting with Richie Benaud leading Australia in 1958. Benaud, Billy Lawry, Ian Chappell and Mark Taylor led their country in 133 Tests over more than four decades.

The death of Tony Greig late last year robbed Nine of a fifth international captain.

Ponting led Australia in 77 Tests for a record 48 victories, and his 165 wins in 230 one-day games as skipper is also unmatched.

"I'm very excited to be joining Network Ten and being part of their commentary team this summer. I can't wait for it all to start in December," said Ponting, who is now in England playing county cricket for Surrey.

With Ponting moving to Melbourne, there was speculation he would join the Melbourne Stars Big Bash team as a replacement captain for Shane Warne. But the proud Tasmanian recently announced he would quit all cricket in October.

Ten pushed Nine to the brink in a bid to steal the international cricket rights. Nine had to pay almost double to keep Test, one-day and Twenty20 internationals, outlaying $450 million over five years. Ten claimed the Big Bash League at $20 million a year, outbidding Fox Sports.

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