Punter will be available across all formats of the game for the county in June and Jily and will act as the team’s captain in the absence of Graeme Smith, who will be taking part in the ICC Champions Trophy.

Ponting has been in good form in Australian domestic cricket after retiring from the international game at the end of last year.

The Tasmanian, who finished his career as Australia’s highest ever international run scorer, made a double ton for Tasmania during his last game.

“I’m really excited to be playing for Surrey this season,” he said. “They are a forward thinking and historic club – and play at one of the greatest grounds in the world.

“I’m looking forward to getting stuck in as soon as I arrive.”

Surrey’s Team Director Chris Adams said: “In Ricky Ponting, we have signed one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era.

“This year, our young batsmen will enjoy a unique opportunity to learn from not just one but two of the greatest International players of the modern age.”