Ponting can’t tarnish Gavaskar’s image: Akram


New Delhi : Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram feels that Ricky Ponting’s comments against Sunil Gavaskar were unwarranted and said that the Australian captain should refrain from bad-mouthing legendary players.

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“A player of Ricky Ponting’s stature should not bad mouth a legend like Sunil Gavaskar. I don’t know why Ponting is saying all these things, but one thing is for sure that Sunny speaks his mind. He is a neutral guy and he is great,” Akram was quoted as saying by Mobile-ESPN.

Ponting in his book Captain’s Diary has hit back at Gavaskar’s scathing remarks during the controversial Sydney Test between India and Australia in January. Gavaskar slammed Ponting’s unsporting captaincy in the match, which was marred with charges of racism on Harbhajan Singh and poor umpiring by Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson.

“Sunny is also one of the players from India who is loved in Pakistan. He is respected the world over and Ponting’s comments won’t affect his sunny image,” Akram said.

“This is part and parcel of sports. Cricket has so much media attention, that even during an informal chat the media can extract a quote and suit themselves,” says Akram. “These things have happened before and will continue and I do not think that these petty things will affect cricket,” he said.

Ponting said in his book: “I still have a vivid image of Sunil Gavaskar angrily trying to take his opening partner off the MCG with him in 1981 when he was given out LBW in a Test match, but to hear him today you’d think he was positively angelic when he was the best opening batsman in the world.”