New Delhi: Sponsors' commitments force cricketers to do all sorts of things, but now the chances of Ricky Ponting coming over to India to endorse brands looks minimal. The Sydney row has not hurt the Australian team's pride, but it will definitely hurt their pockets.
Chairman Percept Holdings, Shailendra Singh says, "I think this particular incident, which actually originated from Ricky Ponting and the behaviour of the entire team thereon has entirely damaged the possibility of them making money from across the world, especially in India. I don't think the Aussies have any potential for making money from India in the next couple of years or so."
Not just Ponting but even Michael Clarke is sure to feel the heat. The companies that have signed long term deals with him are wary of the backlash from the bitter Indian fans.
If burning effigies and posts on the blogospere are an indication, then no brand will want to associate itself with someone who is perceived as arrogant.
Shailendra Singh says, "Current circumstances are especially dodgily poised. Some companies were keen, but I think everyone will put their plans on hold for some time. National sentiments are way above every other issue currently."
Media planners say that this isolation will continue for some time to come. No company would like to sign contracts with Australian cricketers in the present circumstances.
There is a possibility that the boycott will continue even when Australia tour India later this year — after all, India is the financial power that controls world cricket.
Film Director David Dhawan says, "I would not touch the Australian cricket team right now, no way. They are the best team in the world, but the best team in the world cannot behave like the way they did. A captain can't behave like the way they behaved with the Indians out there."
However, not everyone will be scorched. Despite being a fast bowler, Brett Lee has never been known to be rude on the field and he may be one of the few to escape the backlash.
(With inputs from Roma Khanna in Mumbai)