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Kapil advises young India bowlers to stay away from injury

cricket Updated: Feb 14, 2008 18:41 IST

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Former captain Kapil Dev today heaped praise on young Indian bowlers for their "excellent" performance in Australia but advised them to ensure injury did not affect their promising careers.

Kapil said the country suffers if bowlers are injured.

"They are bowling excellently in Australia. They have proven that they have the talent to unsettle the best batsmen in the world.

"They are all young and in order to sustain their top form, they should take care of their body so that they stay away from injury," Kapil said.

He was speaking at a function to announce the sponsorship of Indian players for the Beijing Paralympic Games in September by BHP Billiton.

"My message to the young bowlers is that when you are injured, the country suffers. Indian bowlers have been injury-prone for a long time, so they have to take care of themselves and see that injury does not break their sustained peak form."

Kapil said he did not know how players who sit out of matches due to injury, like in the case of Yuvraj Singh, must feel, as he did not have any serious injury in his career.

"Fortunately, I did not have any serious injury in my career which forced me to sit out for long. So, my advice is the current bowlers should pay attention on their fitness."

When asked whether out of form Yuvraj should be given a long rope to rediscover his old touch, the World Cup-winning captain said, "Of course, he should be given enough chances but it should not be lost to him that that players earn their places because of their performance."

"When you play you are blocking the place of someone else. If you play well, nobody can leave you out. If you are not playing well, naturally you cannot be in the team," he said.

The former captain also said he felt sledging in cricket "is bad personally" but would leave to the respective boards to decide what to do with their players regarding the issue.

"Some people said it is gamesmanship while some others say it is hitting below the belt. Personally, I think it is bad but it is upto the respective boards to decide how to deal with the issue."

Kapil, who recently filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court against BCCI for witholding his pension, also took a dig at the Cricket Board.

"The Cricket Board has lots of money but they should see how the people here (Paralympic Committee of India officials) are running the game without money, but with passion.

"Most of the games in the country, except for a few like cricket, have little money but are being sustained by passion of officials and sportspersons.

"I am not against private sponsors investing heavily in cricket, but I feel that if 10 per cent of what has been spent on cricket is poured in other games, Indian sports would be much better," he said.