could fatten Ponting's bank balance, By Nick Walshaw
- 10th Jan 2008
The Daily Telegraph)
Whan an Indian bank recently advertised
their Sign to Dine with Ricky Ponting campaign,
the response was overwhelming.
enquiries, submissions from the rich, piles of
signed miniature bats moving out the door with
each new account.
India is such a cricket hungry nation," Sateesh
Kumar explains from his ING Vysya office in Bangalore.
"We've used Ponting, Brian Lara, Anil Kumble
. . . cricketers with talent become icons here."
exactly how many bats would Punter need to scribble
on this week - after playing a lead role in the
greatest Aussie cricket scandal since Bodyline?
a question worth asking as the man with a role
long regarded as second only to the Prime Minister
comes under attack.
on Tuesday, when an exclusive poll by The Daily
Telegraph revealed 83 per cent of readers consider
Ponting a poor ambassador.
the start of an unrelenting tirade of criticism,
burning effigies and even a call for his head.
How does that affect his back pocket?
it was Groucho Marx who said any publicity is
good publicity," laughs celebrity agent Max
Markson. "And I honestly believe that's the
case here with Ricky Ponting.
attracts interest. Interest attracts money.
fortnight from now people will only remember the
name Ricky Ponting. He'll earn more money as a
crazy as it sounds, this past week of drama could
prove to be the best earn of Punter's life.
boon for this superstar who Sweeney Sports recently
listed as our most marketable athlete. A bloke
who boasts $2.5 million annually from sponsors
like Valvoline and Kookaburra.
Ponting is no mug," says Greg
Tingle of Media Man, "he could make
anything up to $500,000."
agent Lauren Miller agrees, adding there's "no
way Ricky will suffer financially".
what about the subcontinent - home to those burning
effigies, scathing website vitriol and threats
to make any Indian Premier League experience as
painful as possible?
The Hindu newspaper this week carried a piece
demanding corporations suspend all dealings with
the Australian cricketers.
highly unlikely, the threat places pressure on
all Aussie cricketers with financial ties to the
the list with is Brett "Binga" Lee.
celebrity whose extensive Indian sponsors includes
Pharmacare, Deakin University, Timex and Neo Television.
Brett has been successful for a long time in India
and we don't expect that to change," manager
Neil Maxwell explains. "I mean, he certainly
hasn't been scarred personally as far as the current
scenario is concerned. "
from the Sydney set of Victory, a Bollywood movie
in which Lee plays a key role, producer Anu Sharma
says the bond between Binga and India is "unbreakable".
you need to remember cricket and film are like
religions over there," Sharma explains. "So
when Brett Lee is playing cricket and starring
in films . . . well, there isn't a scandal out
there to stop him."