According to Akhtar, Indian cricket has progressed not because of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but one man - Dhoni.
"Dhoni may not be as good looking as Imran (Khan) but he has all the qualities of Imran as a captain and player and he has given their cricket a new direction and life. He has turned Indian cricket around," Akhtar told a TV channel.
Dhoni, as a skipper, has led India to World Twenty20 title in 2007 and the World Cup glory in 2011. Recently, he became the first captain in cricket history to win all three ICC trophies after claiming the Champions Trophy in England in June.
Pakistan's former leader Imran took the team to World Cup title in 1992. He is regarded as one of the greatest captains of Pakistan.
Akhtar lashed out at the ICC and member boards for not realising that there was urgent need to inject money into Test and one-day international cricket.
"These were the formats which are real cricket and these were formats where players should be earning more money but instead the money was injected into T20 cricket and the IPL has taken the lead in this," he said.