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Sidhu calls Akhtar's claims a cheap gimmick

Akhtar has claimed batting maestro Tendulkar was afraid of facing his deliveries.

September 24, 2011, 8:14 PM IST
Sidhu calls Akhtar's claims a cheap gimmick

Kolkata: Former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday said Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar was indulging in cheap gimmicks to sell his book where the speedster has made disparaging comments against top Indian players.

"A player (Sachin Tendulkar) who has conquered the whole world and stands tall like the Himalayas, can he be afraid of any bowler? It's just cheap publicity, there was no need for such a gimmick," said Sidhu, who was in city as the brand ambassador of Skipper Ltd., a PVC pipe manufacturing company.

In the just-released book "Controversially Yours", Akhtar has claimed batting maestro Tendulkar was afraid of facing his deliveries and he along with Rahul Dravid lacked the "art of finishing the game".

Heaping praise on Tendulkar, Sidhu said: "Tendulkar has derailed the Rawalpindi Express (a name given to Akhtar for his fast deliveries) many a time. He is not a mortal but an institution in himself. His name is etched in world history forever."

On whether Tendulkar should be conferred the country's highest civilian award of the Bharat Ratna, Sidhu said: "He is a Bharat Ratna. The man does not need any such title to make the world know how precious he is to the country."

Sidhu also had words of admiration for former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly as well as M.S. Dhoni, the incumbent. "Both Sourav and Dhoni are remarkable captains. If Dada made a team of exciting youngsters, Dhoni led the team to the number one ranking in the world."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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