Indian Premier League February 24, 2008

Young Indian cricketers will be counselled - Shastri

Cricinfo staff

Young Indian cricketers like Ishant Sharma will receive financial counselling © Getty Images

Ravi Shastri, the former Indian allrounder who is now a member of the Indian Premier League board, has said there is a plan to counsel young cricketers who have been lapped up for huge sums of money in the IPL.

Several experts have voiced their concern over junior cricketers like Ishant Sharma being paid so much money but Shastri, who is on the IPL governing council, said there was a plan in place.

"These guys will be at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) before the IPL and and we plan to have some kind of a financial counselling for them there," Shastri, the chairman of the NCA, said while commentating for ESPN-Star. "The NCA Director Dav Whatmore is on the same page, and is working on this. Maybe even the parents of these cricketers may be invited for the counseling."

The Indian board has instructed junior domestic cricketers to not sign up for the IPL. A number of franchise representatives and senior players have spoken about the possibilities of youngsters getting carried away with so much money so early in their careers.

Steve Waugh, the former Australian captain, had voiced his concern too. "I hope some of the young cricketers will be able to keep their head on their shoulders after their value went through the roof," he wrote in his column for Hindustan Times.

"I worry for the likes of Ishant Sharma, who went for a surprisingly high bid even though he is not even six months old in international cricket. I might sound like an old-timer but I always worry when too much happens too soon in the life of a young, promising cricketer."

Meanwhile Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's one-day captain who was the most prized player at the IPL auction, said he was firmly concentrating on the CB Series for the moment. "I'm not thinking much about the IPL," Dhoni said at the toss, before the clash against Australia in Sydney.

"The IPL is about playing for your franchise. It's a new concept that's been introduced to professionalise domestic cricket in India. It's not about your country or state. As of now I'm concentrating on this series and trying to reach the final."