Steve Waugh criticises auctioning of cricketers

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Barrackpore, Apr 30 (UNI) Former World Cup winning Australian skipper Steve Waugh today strongly criticised auctioning of cricketers for Indian Premere League's T-20 tournament.

''Surely the cricketers are treated as commodities, otherwise why would be they auctioned,'' he asked and added that they have become the chariots of money-making businessmen.

Steve's reaction on IPL came during his non-scheduled visit to Udayan, a home for lepers and their children, near here in North 24 Parganas. ''Cricketers also seem to be enjoying being made commodities,'' he added.

Referring to the IPL, he said ''It is a unique innovation in T-20 format, which is nothing but a commercial venture and obviously a different form of cricket, but it does not mean it is what cricket really is,'' he said, adding that the test cricket still has its essence.

''Such business in cricket could well be a good option if its profits were utilised for the wellfare of mankind in general or the benevolence of the poor,'' Steve said.

He did not seem very optimistic regarding the T-20 cricket.

''You might find its impact six months later,'' he said, but did not go into the details of what kind of impact may be noticed.

He was also of the opinion that no cricket control board should restrict or ban any cricketer from playing cricket like T-20 as England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) did.

Referring to the recent ''conflict'' between Harbhajan Singh and S Sreeshanth, the former Aussie skipper opined that Harbhajan should have been controlled much earlier.

He said that the penalty imposed on him might have been more stringent if it was dealt by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the world cricket governing body.

''Such incidents are not desirable in a game like cricket,'' he further said.

He, however, described sledging in cricket as a fashion that has been transpired among a section of the cricketers. ''It is a matter of realisation amomng the cricketers involved in it,'' he said but he was not catergorical about its impact.

Speaking on Sourav Ganguly's comeback in the international cricket he said that his performance was ''fantastic'', Steve said adding that ''it was amazing to see him again with remarkable performance.

''He is a determined cricketer, having a lot of passion in him,'' he remarked.

He was equally appreciative of his successor Ricky Ponting, describing him as a ''good guy'', who is trying hard to adjust according to the IPL's new format of cricket.

Talking on his performance, he said that it might be an initial setback for him as he is trying hard to adjust himself according to IPL's format of T-20 series. ''He is no doubt trying his best,'' he said.

Incidentally, all top Aussie players of the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Glenn MacGranth, Andrew Simmons, Mike Hussey and brother David Hussey, Shane Warne, Brett Lee are playing in the IPL. Even former Australian coach John Buchanan is the coach of Kolkata Knight Riders'.

Following the press meet, Steve discussed with Udayan authorities, led by Rev J G Steven about the development of the home and some of its new projects. Udayan accomodated 306 children, Rev father said.

Steve also emphasised on some awareness programmes for the lepers.


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