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Ponting for a different ball game in India

Kolkata, Apr 30 : Ricky Ponting, who had a disastrous stint in the multi-billion dollars Indian Premier League's T20 tournament, is keen to promote the Australian Football Leauge (AFL) in India.

Australia's two-time World Cup Cricket winning captain is set to fly home to take charge of his country's assignment in a tour of West Indies next month. Ponting failed miserably in the eight-team IPL opening championship, that hosts the globe's best cricketers. His total score was 39 runs (20,0,0,19) in the four matches he played for the Kolkata Knight Riders, owned by Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan and actress Juhi Chawla. KKR, coached by John Buchanan, lost the last two matches. AFL general manager Dave Holmes told journalists here efforts were being made to popularise the AFL in India and Ponting might be the best bet to do that.

The AFL is played in South Africa, Dubai, the UK, and the USA.

Now efforts are on to popularise the game in China, India and Japan, Holmes said.

AFL was invented by cricketers and was a sport recommended as recreation to the Indian Army. Ponting, before turning to cricket, used to play for AFL for North Melbourne FC.

Holmes said India will field a team in the 2008 AFL International cup.

Ponting said he enjoyed the IPL that has a fantastic future and was good for the new generation of players who are getting a chance to mix with top class cricketers.

Ponting, along other Australians and West Indians who are playing in the IPL, would leave for their respective countries. Australia and West Indies play their Test in Kingston on May 22.


Story first published: Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 14:46 [IST]
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