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Akram takes a dig at BCCI's endorsement rule

The move to restrict endorsements is akin to treat senior players as kids, says former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.

cricket Updated: Apr 09, 2007 19:58 IST

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has criticised the Indian cricket board's decision to put a cap on players' earnings, saying the move to restrict endorsements was akin to treat senior players "as kids".

"It is a joke the way the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is limiting players from signing endorsements. You can't be treating senior players like Sachin Tendulkar as kids," said Akram.

"If some senior players have advised the board to stop endorsements, then it is wrong, the jealousy factor is very clear."

"As a cricketer, I always looked forward to playing for my country. If you are good enough, endorsements will come. It's not the money but the recognition that matters. Of course, money should not affect your game, but form and endorsements are not related," he said in a press release.

The former Pakistan captain also added that, "Can you tell David Beckham that all your endorsements are being withdrawn because you haven't scored a goal in two years?"

In the wake of the Indian cricket team's poor performance in the World Cup, the BCCI on Saturday decided to scrap the players' contract system and restrict cricketers' endorsements to three.

India crashed out in the first round of the World Cup in the West Indies, losing two of the three group matches.

The 40-year-old Akram also said that financial stability of the athletes is very important and that the BCCI should rethink its decision.

"Cricket is a mental game and a player will perform only when he is mentally comfortable that his efforts are being rewarded. The BCCI must rethink its decision," he said.

Akram lauded the BCCI for retaining Rahul Dravid as the captain for the next three tours and the appointment for Ravi Shastri, as the team manager for the Bangladesh tour starting March 10.

"It's a bold decision.The couple of senior players who were dreaming to be captain again in place of Dravid have been put in their places."

"Dravid is a good captain and he is improving. He may be lacking in confidence but he will get better. Under him, India will settle down as a team. It might take a couple of years but eventually the results will be good."

On Shastri's appointment he said, "Players like Ravi should be more actively involved. Ravi is a players' man, likeable and knows what to do with players. Whatever happens, happens for the better and Ravi's coming, even for a short span, will help. May be in future, there is a bigger role for him in Indian cricket."

Akram in the past has been critical of Greg Chappell's role as the coach of the Indian team but gave kudos to the BCCI on their proposal to give the former Australian the directorship of the National Cricket Academy.

"So what if he (Greg) failed as Team India coach? Greg has a lot to offer. He is an organised man and young players will learn Aussie aggression and passion from him. Indian cricket needs the hunger for success and who better than Greg to instil that?"

Chappell, whose contract with the BCCI was till the end of this month, resigned from the post of coach of the national team last week.