I think I see a lot of Aussie domestic politics and competition at play here. Michael Clarke first withdraws in doubtful circumstances. We know he is the captain in waiting. We know Australia is on a losing streak and the captain's position is especially precarious. This leads Ponting to go the extra mile to show his commitment to Aussie cricket and withdraw from the IPL. On a lower level, the contest for the wide open slots now hots up with David Hussey, Cameron White, James Hopes all trying to establish themselves - and Hussey tries to make a point by emulating his skipper.
I am all for the sanctity of Test cricket and strongly believe that the country comes first. But for God's sake get rid of these stupid ODIs ! They have no role in modern day cricket ! If we get rid of this menace we shall not only have enough time and space for T20 and Test cricket but we can also have sufficient warm up games and first class cricket !
On another note, I wonder if the recession is going to hit the IPL ... people who willingly shelled out Rs. 1000 for a ticket last year - might think twice this time around. It would make sense for Modi to lower the prices - will his shrewdness prevail over his greed ?