Akram ridicules ceiling on endorsements

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Terming BCCI's directive to limit Indian cricketers' endorsements in the wake of World Cup debacle as a joke, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has advised the Board to reconsider the issue.

''It's a joke the way the BCCI is limiting players from signing endorsements. You can't treat senior players like Sachin (Tendulkar) as kids. If some senior players have advised the board to stop endorsements, then it is wrong. The jealousy factor is very clear,'' Akram said in an interview to Mobile ESPN.

''As a cricketer, I 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.

''Financial stability is important for athletes. Cricket is a mental game and a player will only perform only when he is mentally comfortable that his efforts are being rewarded. The BCCI must rethink its decision,'' said Akram.

He, however, praised the Board for persisting with Rahul Dravid as captain for the next three tours starting with a tour to Bangladesh from May 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. Winning and losing is part of the game and BCCI has taken a good decision to retain Dravid.

''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.'' Akram also praised the BCCI for making Ravi Shastri the manager for the Bangladesh tour and said the former India all-rounder should be more actively involved in future.


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