“I’m on record saying that I’ve spoken with Justin quite a bit about coming down here and being the head coach of the Hurricanes and he was quite keen,” Ponting said. “The initial conversations were pretty exciting. And he would like to get back involved again. But as things got progressed and things got a little bit closer, I think he’s had some other opportunities and exciting things maybe come across his desk that he thinks he might be able to enjoy a little bit more through the course of the summer.
“I’m sure you’ll find out about some of those things over the next little period of time. But as soon as he [took] himself out of the running, it was really obvious to me who the next guy had to be and that’s the guy that we’ve appointed as head coach in Jeff. I’m not hiding from the fact that I spoke to him [Langer]. I spoke to him a lot about it and I think everyone, probably around Australian cricket circles knew that I was trying to get him down here for the Hurricanes but it wasn’t to be.”
Langer has remained in Perth since his messy departure from the Australia men’s coaching job in February. He has been doing a lot of corporate speaking as well as fulfilling his duties as a board member for the West Coast Eagles, an Australian Football League club.
“Everyone that I’ve spoken to around Tasmanian cricket or around the Australian cricket team just had glowing reports about Jeff with his coaching ability and his coaching style and his people management,” Ponting said. “I think that’s exactly what the Hurricanes need right now.”
Hobart Hurricanes coaching team (left to right), James Hopes (assistant), Ricky Ponting (head of strategy), Jeff Vaughan (head coach) and Darren Berry (assistant)•Cricket Tasmania
Combining the Tasmania men’s domestic program with Hurricanes’ BBL team under one coach is a model that has worked successfully in Western Australia under both Langer and Adam Voges and is currently employed in South Australia and Queensland.
But the addition of Hopes and Berry adds significant global franchise experience to Hurricanes. Hopes has been an assistant under Ponting in the IPL at Delhi Capitals while Berry has previously coached Adelaide Strikers in the BBL and coached South Australia to a T20 title in the old Big Bash competition. Berry has been an assistant coach at title-winning teams in the IPL and PSL and also works in the Hundred.
“With Jeff being the head coach of the Tigers and what I felt the Hurricanes needed right here and right now it just seemed like the perfect fit for him to be in charge of both programs,” Ponting said. “But in saying that was also really important to me that I got high-quality experienced assistant coaches underneath Jeff to make sure that when Jeff is away with the Tigers that the Hurricanes program is actually in as good a shape as possible by the time he joins, which will be probably two weeks before the first game.”