Knight Riders deny offering Ponting for trade

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Kolkata, Feb.21 (ANI): The IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders has denied that Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting was up for trade, quashing rumors that Ponting was privately shopped around to other Indian Premier League franchises.

The Age quoted a leading IPL figure as claiming that Ponting was unwanted by Kolkata this year, and that it looked to trade him to a rival franchise last month.

Ponting yesterday announced he would not participate in the April-May series to rest and spend time with family in what is the busiest international schedule mapped out in Australia's cricket history.

But the source said: "They tried to trade him. No other team wanted him," said the source, who did not wish to be named.

A Kolkata source said last night that trading had never been an option. Ponting has a three-year contract worth 400,000 dollars each season with Kolkata, while far less accomplished players attracted bids twice as much.

"He is a very good option at that price, so if you look at it logically, trading would not make sense," the Kolkata official said.

Under the rules of the six-week IPL tournament, teams could trade talent and make up differences in price. Ponting's manager, James Henderson, said his client's unavailability was directly related to the hectic schedule of the Australian cricket team.

Ponting disclosed in his Captain's Diary 2008 that he had encountered problems with Kolkata captain and Indian nemesis Sourav Ganguly last year. Ganguly banished him to the boundary rope after suggesting different field placements during one game in the inaugural tournament, and kept him waiting in the practice nets.

"Sourav is very driven in the way he trains and prepares, a bloke who will get into a net and bat and bat and bat.

"There were a couple of times I was due to use his net straight after him but I was left standing there, waiting 20 or 30 minutes with my pads on, before I finally had my hit," Ponting wrote.

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said he was unaware of Kolkata's plans for Ponting and would not comment but he did suggest that Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke and strike bowler Mitchell Johnson were "highly unlikely" to be chosen for next year's event after pulling out this year. (ANI)

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