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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2008
Sports

'Players need right advice'

Indian cricketers need professional help to cope with their fame and wealth, Test captain Anil Kumble said on Wednesday.

Kumble's comments in a newspaper column came two days after his spin partner Harbhajan Singh was banned for the remainder of the cash-rich domestic Twenty20 league after being found guilty of slapping compatriot Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

"There's so much money in the game now, especially with the India Premier League (IPL)," Kumble wrote.

"Instead of people blaming whatever happens on "too much money" or justifying incidents by saying things happen in the heat of the moment, it's important that someone ensures that players are given the right kind of advice, that there are professionals to help them cope with fame and the money it brings... "Education is essential here and should be made part of the system."

India, where cricketers are feted like pop stars, has the largest global cricket audience and multi-million sponsorship deals.

At an IPL players' auction in February, India one-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni topped the bidding with 1.5 million dollars (762,000 pounds) per year for a three-year contract. Harbhajan was bought for 850,000 dollars.

The slapping incident occurred last week after the Mumbai team, captained by Harbhajan in the absence of the injured Sachin Tendulkar, lost to Sreesanth's Mohali.

Television pictures showed Sreesanth, an international teammate of Harbhajan's, sobbing after the game.

Harbhajan's ban came three months after he was involved in a row on the controversial tour of Australia.

The 27-year-old was initially banned for three Tests after being found guilty of making alleged racist remarks towards Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

But the spinner was subsequently let off with a fine following an appeal.

"Players need to learn to respect the opposition and, most importantly, gain the respect of everyone. It's important to understand what you should not say instead of what you would naturally say," Kumble wrote.

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