Shoaib Akhtar: Short-pitched stuff

Published: September 24, 2011
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Akhtar unleashes more fury five months after his retirement.

Akhtar unleashes more fury five months after his retirement.

Shoaib Akhtar is no alien to grabbing headlines, notably for the wrong reasons.

His recent controversy is not with a ball in hand, or even with a nail on it, but in the form of his autobiography that was launched in New Delhi yesterday. Five months away from the spotlight, Akhtar created waves as he came out with all the weapons in his armour, targeting former opponents as well as teammates.

Controversially Yours created a stir across the border, with the Indian media launching a scathing criticism due to an attack on Sachin Tendulkar. Excerpts, tweets coupled with the maverick Akhtar’s statements drew widespread reaction and criticism.

Tendulkar, though, refused to comment on the rising Akhtar delivery arguing that the Indian legend was not a match-winner.

“It’s below my dignity to react to Shoaib’s comment,” said Tendulkar. Akhtar also targeted former India batsman Rahul Dravid and said the duo feared his pace, just like everybody else.

“Every batsman has that fear when a bowler bowls close to 100 miles per hour,” said Akhtar. “It’s just a matter of disguising it well. Australians do it much better than the Indians.”

In the book, Akhtar has also accused Wasim Akram of destroying his career and recalled an incident when former spinner Saqlain Mushtaq ran towards the then coach Javed Miandad with a bat in his hand amid fear of getting dropped from the team.

He had words for Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan as well and said that while the India actor still owed him money after his Indian Premier League stint, he took good care of him. “He really looked after me when I was there. But I still haven’t received my money,” said Akhtar.

The second launch of the book takes place in Mumbai tomorrow but there are no signs for an official launch of the book this side of the border. “We have no plans on launching the book in Pakistan right now,” a spokesperson for Harper Collins, the publishers, told The Express Tribune.

The 36-year-old’s autobiography is likely to stay in the headlines in the coming days and while revelations keep on pouring, these are anxious moments for the cricket fraternity as Akhtar is bound to deliver more short-pitched stuff.

Quotable quotes

“I was offered Rs1.3 million in 1999 to indulge in match fixing”

“Everyone tampers with the ball. I did too. Tampering should be legalised”

“Dravid and Tendulkar weren’t match-winners”

“Akram destroyed my career”

“Malik was made captain because he was a stooge of Nasim Ashraf”

“I should have never listened to Modi and Shahrukh”

“Miandad was a great batsman but I think as a coach he left much to be desired”

“Waqar talks about team discipline and manners as if he was the epitome of it all”

“Someone else was facing a rape allegation, his name was kept a state secret and my name was sacrificed”

“If I ever get married and have children, I would never encourage them to join this profession”

“Tendulkar might have more runs and records but he lacked the ability to finish a game”

“The hardest batsman I ever bowled to was Inzamam. I never once got him out, not even in nets”

“Afridi did what he always does: leaked the news. He is very friendly with the Karachi media”

“Intikhab has been saying to me that he is sorry for everything that has happened”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Sep 24, 2011 - 12:34AM

    hi i am gonnaa read his autobiography greatest fastest bowler in the history of cricket he unveiling the secrets and experiences of life surely talented cricketer missed for long time

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  • GetRidOfFeudalPolitics
    Sep 24, 2011 - 12:57AM

    shoaib bhai delivering inswinging toe crushers even after retirement :)

    though i would have wished that he would stay out of controversy and in our respectful memories after an “izzat dar” retirement.

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  • blithe
    Sep 24, 2011 - 2:35AM

    Love you Shoaib!!!

    Everything that you are saying is 100% truthful.

    When he talks about ball tampering he means keeping one side shiny , the other side rough — all sides do it. The English team is very prodigious at doing it. These days they automatically pass the ball to Cook who rubs the shiny side in very vigourous way against his pants.

    Tendulkar is not a match winner. Check the stats on Cricinfo and you will realise that this a truthful statement (number of centurie he got where India ended up losing the match).

    Afridi is the most fickle person. You can judge this by the statements he keeps giving againt the PCB, against fellow players, etc., etc. The way he has been playing politics by goign to see the Governor of Sindh…

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  • Raheel
    Sep 24, 2011 - 3:29AM

    shobi some times you make it so hard for your die hard to defend you…especially when you smell like rotten …………..you refuse to grow up dont you ?

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  • Tapan Nagpal
    Sep 24, 2011 - 8:10AM

    Atleast he can sell all this in India…In Pakistan…Alas!!! No chance!!! You can’t Hate this bloke…he is juz too honest!!!

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  • Indian USA
    Sep 24, 2011 - 9:14AM

    He was a good bowler. Arrogant but good.

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  • saleem
    Sep 24, 2011 - 12:35PM

    Indian being scared of fast rising delivery …..well see the latest England tour and comments by Ganguly its a fact whole world knows. Shoaib say it like you feel ….great stuff

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  • omg!
    Sep 24, 2011 - 12:40PM

    He praised Gangualy v much. Tribune should publish that.

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  • Sasha
    Sep 24, 2011 - 2:44PM

    Apart fr0m his aggresive nature he’s öne sane man in pak cricket…
    Lookin 4wd 2 sum new revelations ;) l0l bt seri0usly sh0aiby u rock!

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 12:12AM

    “Autobiography is about my life” says Shoaib Akhter. If we agree, his life was controversial for us, then dah! his book will also be controversially ours.

    We should not judge the book by its cover, we have to understand its a autobiography and it contains 36 years of information in it. We have to analyze the era, the context, the flow of the book. It will be so early to comment on the book & to give review about it. We need to have an editorial judgement before making any review.

    Let the iron be hot then we should stroke else on controversially your our comment will become controversial.

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  • sohaib
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:07PM

    His comment about Scahin is not off the mark. Sachin plays for himself and his records. How many matches has he won for India?

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  • Goran
    Sep 27, 2011 - 2:45AM

    Yours truly Shoaib – always the show-pony but never the race-horse

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  • MOHD IMRAN SHAH
    Sep 27, 2011 - 9:06PM

    i think he is just doing marketing for his new book,,because he never anything when he was playing
    so i think its just public stunts……….

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  • hbk
    Oct 1, 2011 - 5:55PM

    Indian’s cant even bear the reality. everybody knows he was a great player and there are many batsmen in the world who felt frightened by standing before Akhtar.

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  • Hassan
    Oct 9, 2011 - 10:38PM

    Ladies & Gentleman, Had Shoaib written a book describing every thing or everyone as nice ‘n’ rosy Neither would the book sell nor would anyone want to read it ! What shoaib has to do when he signs the contract to write a book like this is he has to give the publishers some ” MASALA” to hype the book and put it in the publics eye, which in my opinion he is acheiving. I for one am looking forward to reading it.

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