Australian skipper Ricky Ponting today said he has been left amazed by the massive demand for his teammates among the Indian Premier League's franchises because he had expected the world champions' popularity and brand value to nosedive in India after the Sydney Test furore.
"That amazes me after the last couple of weeks. I thought our prices would have gone right down to tell you the truth," Ponting quipped in the press conference ahead of the tri-sereies match against Sri Lanka here tomorrow.
Ponting, along with retiring stumper Adam Gilchrist and fiery all-rounder Andrew Symonds are reportedly the "hottest commodities" in the players' auction for the cash-rich IPL scheduled next week.
The Aussie skipper said the amount of money on offer in IPL was simply mind boggling considering that the world champions may not even play in the first two editions.
"It doesn't look like we'll be able to play in the first couple of years. That's the interesting thing for the next few weeks, what sort of money is going to be out there if there is no chance of playing," he said.
Symonds and Ponting are being eyed by the Kolkata franchise to be captained by Sourav Ganguly.
In fact Symonds seems much in demand inspite of his stormy relationship with both the Indian fans and the players.
According to the 'Daily Telegraph', former Indian fast bowler T A Sekar said the Delhi franchise was "very keen" on Symonds.
"More than Ponting, I would go for Gilchrist and Symonds. They fit the bill - multi-skilled players," he said.