Ponting looks forward to great cricket under Sourav in IPL

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Kolkata, Apr 12 (UNI) Australia skipper Ricky Ponting today said though the 'Knight Riders' would badly miss Pakistan speedstar Shoaib Akhtar, they were however, looking forward to playing great cricket under Sourav Ganguly in the IPL Premier League beginning on April 18 at the Eden Gardens.

Addressing newspersons along with 'Knight Riders' coach John Buchanon after a day's workout in sweltering heat as mercury almost touched 40 degree Celsius, Ponting said the IPL would provide good brand of cricket and at the end young players would learn a lot from their seniors.

'' I am feeling excited and the tourney will provide me a great opportunity to acquaint myself with other players of the IPL, '' Ponting opined.

Talking about Team India's recent Australia tour, Ponting said initially they had some problem with the Indian side but as play went on things became better and now that chapter was over.

'' Now we have forgotten that chapter, and are looking forward to play together, '' Ponting said.

On the absence of Shoaib Akhtar after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) slammed a five-year ban on the Rawalpindi Express, the Australian cricket captain said, '' We will definitely miss him badly but we have to go on with our present side. '' Arriving midnight last night and had good workout this noon, Ponting said he was bit relaxed as Sourav would lead their 'Knight Riders' in the first T-twenty IPL premier league against 'Deccan Charger' at the Eden Gardens on April 18.

Ponting said since he was not the skipper, he would try to give the best in the IPL.

On all black costume for 'Knight Riders', Ponting said they were good and looking smart with black caps, black T-Shirt and black trousers.

To another question, Ponting said he was keen to meet Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan owning the 'Knight Riders'.

On Ishant Sharma, Ponting said he has good future and he would bowl for many years for India.

Coach Buchanan said, '' My players have good experience in T-twenty cricket and we are expecting to perform well in the days. '' Ponting, David Hussey, Tateya Taibu, Yaspal Singh, Iqbal Abdullah, Murli Kartick, Akash Chopra, Sourashish Lahiri, Ranadeb Bose, Brand Macculum had physical training under the watchful eyes of John Buchanan. His son Michael also arrived here as strength trainer.

UNI PC SJC AB RN1955

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