Ponting plays his Philanthropist role to perfection

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Kochi, Oct 1 (UNI) Australia captain Ricky Ponting got down to play his role of Philanthropist, even as he touched down in Kochi International Airport from Bangalore for the second Future Cup ODI cricket series against India tomorrow.

The programme was to raise funds for educating deprived children as part of his social work in Australia and India.

Soon after checking into the hotel, Ponting proceeded to Taj Residency to take part in ING Vysya Foundation's auction sale of a collection of rare photographs of his under the banner ''Take Home Ricky Ponting''.

And irrsepective of the late hour at which the auctioning was conducted, it was a full audience with cricket commentator, model and television actress Mandira Bedi anchoring the auction.

Starry eyed young cricket fans responded with pointed questions out of which Mandira picked two and asked them to query Ponting when he took the stage at 2230 hrs.

A book on Ponting, reflecting different dimensions of his personality, was also released by the Aussie star, a universal favourite among young cricket fans. The book was also put up for sale at a price of Rs 10,000.

Ponting said he felt it a privilege to extend his social work to India when invited by ING Vysya Foundation. ''We cricketers do it back home and I felt honoured to do it in India also'', Ponting observed.

ING Vysya Bank MD&CEO Vaughn Richtor thanked Ponting for associating himself with a wonderful cause of educating deprived children. ''For the next one year everytime he scores a run, the loudest cheers will come from these children'', he observed.

UNI

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