Kolkata: Former India cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu ridiculed Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar's remarks against Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the biography 'Controversially Yours'.

Sidhu feels that Akhtar has resorted to cheap publicity gimmick while trying to demean Tendulkar and Dravid.

In his inimitable manner, comparing Sachin to a temple, Sidhu said, "Many birds fly over temples and mosques, making them dirty. But it remains sacred and the excreta gets washed away during rain."

"Tendulkar is an institution in himself. Players with such a record can never fear anyone... Sachin has derailed the Rawalpindi Express countless times," the BJP Parliamentarian said in his typical one-liners.

Asked whether 'Bharat Ratna' should be conferred on Tendulkar, Sidhu said, "Sachin is already a Bharat Ratna - country's jewel. Name one person who has able to come near him. He is a colossal figure - the biggest peak (Mount Everest)," he said.

On India's debacle in England series, Sidhu said India lost the balance when injury ruled out pace spearhead Zaheer Khan in the very first Test.

"A small leak can sink a big ship. The whole balance of the team was stirred as India resembled a hospital bed."

"The cricketers schedule has become so regimental - playing 300 days of cricket out of 365 in a year. The cricketers these days are professionals. They want to make hay even while going haywire. So sometimes they carry niggles that aggravates," Sidhu said.

To deal with the situation, the Board must form a team of doctors with expertise in injury rehabilitation.

"We must have great doctors with a great physio rehab team who can help the cricketers recover quickly. We need specialists," he said.

He further heaped praise on former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, giving him the credit for nurturing the present crop of cricketers including Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh.

"Different persons have different strengths. Leaders are the one who convert weakness into strength. Ganguly was the one who provided youngsters with opportunities, reposed faith on them. He was instrumental in unearthing talents like that of Harbhajan and Yuvraj."

Asked to pick who is better between Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sidhu said: "They are different personalities like no two persons can have identical fingerprints.

"I don't think any other captain has achieved what Dhoni had. Dhoni has had success in all the three formats."

(Agencies)