New Delhi: Australia's Andrew Symonds has shrugged off racist taunting in India to sign up for its official Twenty20 league along with captain Ricky Ponting and 11 other team-mates, officials said Tuesday.
Vice captain Adam Gilchrist and opener Matthew Hayden have also joined the big Australian contingent for the new Indian Premier League (IPL), they said.
The other players are Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Jason Gillespie and Cameron White.
The latest signings come 10 days after Australia completed an ill-tempered one-day tour of India in which the visitors accused Indian crowds of bombarding Symonds with monkey chants and gestures.
"I am sure the cricket-loving public of India would cherish the opportunity to see the world champions turn out for local teams," said Indian cricket board vice-president Lalit Modi, who heads the IPL.
"The induction of the prodigious Aussie talent will add a whole new dimension to the cricket that is played in the Indian Premier League."
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi was also taken on board, taking to 44 the number of international players who have signed up with the IPL.
The IPL, a brainchild of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is backed by the International Cricket Council and supported by cricket boards around the world.
The inaugural league to be played in April-May next year offers three million dollars in prize money and will have eight teams to be bought by franchisees.
The top two sides will qualify for an international Champions Twenty20 League to be held at an undecided venue in October 2008.
Among other international stars with the IPL are Test captains Graeme Smith of South Africa, Shoaib Malik of Pakistan and Daniel Vettori of New Zealand.
Retired Australian greats Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, Sri Lankans Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya and Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will also feature.
The BCCI is also expected to field the entire Indian team in the inaugural edition.
The BCCI set up the IPL in an apparent bid to crush the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) which is bankrolled by India's largest media company, Zee Telefilms.
The rebel league, to be played in Chandigarh next month, features mainly retired international stars, headed by West Indian great Brian Lara and Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq, along with a slew of domestic has-beens.