ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan Test cricketers have criticised former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for hitting out at cricket stars and Bollywood icons in his autobiography – ‘Controversially Yours.’ In his book, Shoaib levelled accusations against former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram, Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan and former Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner Lalit Modi.
From the preview of excerpts of Shoaib, who holds the record for the fastest delivery in cricket ever clocking 161.3 km/h (100.2 mph), it transpires that the autobiography is no less controversial with the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ admitting to ball tampering and also claiming that Sachin Tendulkar chickened out during the Faisalabad Test. The former Pakistani stump-wrecker said that ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin and ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid were not match winners.
“I think players like Sachin and Dravid weren’t exactly match winners to start with, nor did they know the art of finishing the game,” he said. Shoaib, who retired from cricket following the 2011 World Cup, also revealed that he tampered with the ball claiming, “everyone tampers with the ball. I did so too. Tampering should be legalised.”
In his book Shoaib wrote that legendary pacer Wasim attempted to finish his career. “Wasim threatened to walk out with half the team if I was included in the team. He claimed that former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman General (r) Tauqir Zia backed him against Wasim. He also alleged that he was cheated by Shahrukh and Lalit. “Shahrukh and I talked about my not being happy with the money settled on me. Shahrukh and Modi got me to agree. I should have never listened to Modi and Shahrukh,” he stated.
Commenting upon the book, former captain Asif Iqbal said that he was disappointed the way Shoaib implicated and degraded great cricket players. “Wasim is an icon and blaming him this way is unfair,” he said. He said that degrading Shahrukh, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid was also unfair as they all were also stars. Asif said Shoaib should not have launched his book from India adding that the former fast bowler had done that to promote his book.
Former skipper Moin Khan termed Shoaib’s allegations against Wasim as ‘ridiculous’. “Wasim was a great player. He is an inspirational figure for youngsters. It’s ridiculous to blame him this way,” he added. Aamir Sohail, another former captain, said that the points raised by Shoaib in his book were just an attempt to create public curiosity.
Former fast bowler Sarfaraz Nawaz said the player had made an attempt to get limelight after his retirement. “Shoaib wants publicity through his book.” However, Sarfraz claimed that whatever Shoaib had written about Wasim was true. Former fast bowler Sikandar Bakht said that although he respected Shoaib, the player should not have degraded Wasim and Indian players.
Former PCB chairman Tauqir said that whatever Shoaib wrote about Wasim was not based on facts. “Wasim retired from international cricket in 2003, while Shoaib took retirement after the 2011 World Cup. How can he (Wasim) be blamed to finish his career,” he said. Tauqir was also of the view that Shoaib had implicated the former captain to sell his book.. – Dailytimes