Steve Smith in big career shift as cricket fans get their Ricky Ponting fix for T20 World Cup

A star-studded commentary line-up has been unveiled for the showpiece cricket tournament in the Caribbean and US.

The commentary gods have listened and granted cricket fans their wish – more of Ricky Ponting behind the microphone. The former Australia captain will spearhead a star-studded line-up of former World Cup winners and white ball specialists commentating on next month's ground-breaking T20 World Cup.

For the first time in ICC history, a major tournament will be held on American soil in partnership with co-hosts the West Indies. Fifty-five games will be played across nine locations in 28 days.

Cricket's governing body, which controls the international broadcast feed, has called on some of the game's biggest names to bring the action to millions of fans, including an Australian audience via Prime Video. And while some will polarise cricket enthusiasts, Ponting is universally considered without peer as a commentator.

Steve Smith and Ricky Ponting.
Steve Smith and Ricky Ponting will both be in commentary for the T20 World Cup. Image: Getty

His deep understanding of the game and cricketing IQ along with his ability to often predict moments in a match before they happen has won him fans round the world. "It’s like he knows what’s going to happen almost every ball. Ponting commentates cricket like he’s watching a replay," one viewer wrote earlier this season.


The batting great recently explained his approach to T20 commentary. He said: "(It's great) to be able to sit down and analyse a game and have a bit of fun as well. The people that want to watch the T20 game, they want some entertainment.

"It's not just about what I think might happen this ball or what a team should do with its batting order or who should bowl next over. They want us to have a bit of fun with the game as well."

Ricky Ponting in 2023.
Ricky Ponting looks on during the Ashes in 2023.

The World Cup commentary team will have a distinct Australian flavour, with Ponting joined by former teammate Matthew Hayden, ex-Australia skipper Steve Smith, former national ODI captain Aaron Finch and one-time leading Australia all-rounder Tom Moody. Finch said: "I am proud to have led Australia to victory in 2021 and understand the immense effort required to win in this unforgiving format. I look forward to bringing all my experience as a player to my commentary during the tournament."

Giant international cricketing figures Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Ian Bishop, Ian Smith, Wasim Akram, Mike Atherton, Shaun Pollock, Carlos Brathwaite and Waqar Younis are also part of the line-up. Australia Test batsman Usman Khawaja will act as Prime Video's official T20 World Cup ambassador.

Steve Smith's move into the commentary booth is a further indication of his likely transition into a media role when his playing days are over. The World Cup gets underway on Sunday (AEST) with co-hosts the USA taking on Canada. Australia's first game is against Oman on June 6.