New Delhi:Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has slammed Ricky Ponting for his "Sunny no angel" comments, saying the Australian captain has chosen a wrong cricketer, who has unblemished international stature, to shore up the sale of his book.
Akram was appalled at why Ponting chose to attack Gavaskar by writing in his just-published, 'Captain's Diary 2008', that Sunil Gavaskar was no saint during his playing days.
"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 (Gavaskar) is a neutral guy and he is amazingly great," Akram said.
Gavaskar has been a known critic of Australians' on-field bullying tactics and Ponting, never shy of any spat with the former India captain, said the legendary batsman was no angel in his playing days.
"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," Ponting had written in his book 'Captain's Diary 2008'.
Akram was clearly not amused by Ponting's comments but felt that will barely dent Gavaskar's esteem.
"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 Sunny's image,"
Obliquely hinting at the series of books being written by Australian players, Akram said cricketers or those associated with the game will not shy away from taking that extra step to market themselves and make some more money.
"This is part and parcel of top 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 don't think that these petty things will affect cricket."