'Peck on the cheek' startles Ponting

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Bangalore, Sep 28 (UNI) Australian Captain Ricky Ponting was stunned when a man 'presented' him with a 'peck on the cheek' after buying a large photo printed on a canvas at an auction held to raise money for poor children.

The middle aged man called the bids and offered Rs 10,000 for the photo, many of which were on the block at a charity auction dinner organised by private sector ING Vysya bank here last night.

Ponting, who is in the city to lead his side in the opening match of the 7-match one-day series against India, looked pleased and invited the man on to the dias to thank him for buying the picture.

But he was startled when the man alighted the stage walked straight to Ponting and gave him a peck on Ponting's cheek leaving the Aussie captain bewildered. The man also asked Ponting to give him a 'brotherly' hug.

Despite taken aback, Ponting however obliged the man with the 'maroon shirt' as called by the host and cricket presenter Mandira Bedi who hosted the auction dinner.

Many photos and other memorabilia including a bat using which Ponting had hit a century was auctioned.

A limited edition coffee table book, on the life of the Australian captain, priced at Rs 10,000 was also released and Ponting obliged to autograph those who bought the books at the dinner.

UNI

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