Andrew Symonds, who has softened his stance on touring Pakistan, is struggling to believe his huge result in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. While Symonds picked up US$1.35m, Ponting collected a bid of US$400,000, slightly more than the amounts Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey achieved.
"If I could tell you why that would probably be quite a good news story, but there is no sort of logical sense to what each player's worth ... I can't see a pattern," Symonds said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "That's quite amazing how that's unfolded. Unfortunately it's got nothing to do with me but that's just the way things turned out."
Symonds said it would be tricky meeting up with his captain, but Ponting said there would be no problems between the team-mates. "It's probably only me and Matty that will have any reason to be jealous of anybody else," Ponting said in the Australian. "Matty and I aren't that sort of people. The other guys have done pretty well out of it so far. There will be a lot of laughs and joking going on for the rest of the summer."
The Hyderabad franchise won Symonds and Inderjit Singh Bindra, the IPL co-founder, said he had a "suspicion" the bidders knew more about Symonds' stance on touring Pakistan. On the day of the auction Symonds said he didn't want to go to the country next month - a move which would make him available for the India tournament - but on Thursday he said the "door is ajar" on taking part.
"I could not believe how much was bid for Symonds, the bidding was incredible, very fast," Bindra told the Herald. "I am sure the owners knew he might be available because I can't believe he is two-and-a-half times the value of Ricky Ponting, who the owners believed would not be available this year."
N Krishnan, the co-owner of the Hyderabad team, said Symonds was the main target because there was a strong chance the Pakistan trip would be called off. "We never knew about his comments," Krishnan said. "But of course we always had a very strong suspicion that the tour would not go ahead, that the chances of this tour not taking place are quite high."
A decision on whether a Cricket Australia security team visits Pakistan will be made next month and the delegation will rule on whether the players travel. Symonds, who first outlined his concerns last year, said "you know where I stand on it". At a corporate function in Melbourne he was also asked if he felt like a cricket mercenary: "That's what they offered to pay for me, I didn't ask for it."