Kolkata: Former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu 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."