Never judge a book by its cover

Another example of Indian cricket's uniqueness is the fact that no current stars have written a book. In fact, none of the recently-retired stalwarts too. The reason could be that no one wants to be politically incorrect by being critical of their establishment, teammates and coaches.

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar, Sandeep Patil and Kapil Dev probably remain India's only cricketers who released books in their Test-playing days.Quite simply, the cricket-loving people of India are not used to the idea of cricketers being critical of their counterparts, which is what Shoaib Akhtar has done.

However, his comments have to be put in perspective. Where Sachin Tendulkar is concerned, he has written about a certain innings (Faisalabad, 2006) when Tendulkar was not able to dominate him. Does that make Tendulkar a lesser great? At least Shoaib doesn't say so, although he has been brutal and unjustified in his criticism towards Rahul Dravid.

India's ultra sensitive cricket fans should realise that every public figure is a candidate for criticism, like he is when the going is good. It must be remembered that even the best have to undergo scrutiny. That's the price they pay for all the fame and moolah.

John Wright, the erstwhile Indian coach wrote a good book on his stint with India from 2001 to 2005. In John Wright's Indian Summers, he criticised the selection process and all hell broke loose in India. Wright provided some wonderful stories in those pages, but not many were willing to acknowledge that.

Fans need to add another layer of maturity, accept every human being's freedom of expression and probably very importantly, start reading more books. The clich �, never judge a book by its cover, holds true for Shoaib's Controversially Yours too.

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