Controversially yours – Shoaib Akhtar turns back the clock!

Published: September 25, 2011

The questions is: are Shoaib Akhtar's accounts real or is he just seeking the limelight? PHOTO: AFP/FILE

A new chapter to the history of one of the most controversial cricketers to ever grace the game was added as Shoaib Akhtar’s autobiography was launched in India on Friday.

Akhtar is supposedly the fastest bowler that the game has ever seen and is best remembered not only for bowling missiles that had stumps after stumps flying all around the ground but also for his antics off the field which included fights with the PCB,  many disciplinary hearing and suspensions. His long run up to the bowling crease was as talked about as his driving around in an expensive sports car when on tour. He was the ultimate ‘Rawalpindi Express’!

But all this is about to change with the release of ‘Controversially Yours’. This is what he will always be remembered for from now onwards.

From the excerpts that have been released to the media, the book marks Akhtar’s journey from an economically deprived childhood, when his family couldn’t even afford new clothes for Eid, to breaking into the Pakistani team, to becoming the man that broke the 100mph barrier.

Keeping with the title and his career record, the book is filled with controversial revelations and Akhtar has taken a swap at all and sundry including the ‘King’ Khan”. Actually, he has thrown punches left, right and centre at just about everyone.

In his autobiography, Akhtar termed the former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi and Shahrukh Khan as cheats who swindled him out of his fair share of the IPL money and has revealed that Shahrukh Khan never wanted him in his team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, but it was Sourav Ganguly who got him included.

Akhtar has taken jibes at his former captains in the book saying that Wasim Akran wanted to end his career and that Shoaib Malik was a PCB ‘stooge’. I quote:

Shoaib Malik doesn’t deserve to be captain and was made captain because he was a stooge of the PCB Chief Naseem Ashraf” and “Wasim Akram threatened to walk out with half the team if I was included in the team.”

Taking a dig at the Indian greats, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, Akhtar has called them as ‘not match winners’ and considers Dravid to be better than the little master. He says that neither Dravid nor Sachin knew how to finish matches.

“Vivian Richards, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara and the likes of them are great batsmen who dominated with the bat and were truly match-winners. Initially, when I bowled against Sachin, I found these qualities missing. “

“I think players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid weren’t exactly match-winners to start with, nor did they know the art of finishing the game.”

He also accused Tendulkar of being scared of him and his scorching pace and cites an incident that happened in Faisalabad where he believed Tendulkar chickened out.

Talking about ball tampering and his two suspensions by the ICC for the offense, Akhtar admits to tampering with the ball and even cites examples of how he doctored the ball on different occasions. He feels that it should be legalized as everyone does it.

No team is innocent and virtually every fast bowler does it. That is the only way to survive because the wickets are so slow.”

Leveling accusations at his contemporaries in the Pakistani team, Akhtar has revealed that all Pakistani fast bowlers indulged in ball tampering. He even narrates an incident where an unnamed Pakistani cricketer switched the ball in the umpires pocket during lunch session so that he could make it reverse swing.

The book has created a lot of excitement, stir and outrage already, especially in India and on the face of it appears to be an interesting read and I guess is a must for all the Pakistani cricketing fans.

But, it might be a bit difficult to get hold of the book considering that there are no plans of launching the book in Pakistan at the moment.

A lot of allegations and accusations have been leveled in the book and with no concrete proof available for many of these, one will have to decide for themselves whether these are true or it is just a publicity stunt by a cricketer who loves the limelight as much as he loves bowling fast.

Dr Amyn Malyk

Dr Amyn Malik

A Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of the MPH program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He tweets @amynmalik

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://deleted MAHFOOZ UR RAHMAN

    Shoaib Akhtar is a wild , rude , crude and a spoiled brat . He is thankless Recommend

  • Mohmad irshad

    I think one should be given chance to say what he feels irrespective whether the saying is correct or not. I feels that if shoib had stayed away frm all the illegal things he does in his career he would have been the great bowler of world because of his pace he used to genarate and by his positive attitude and agrression.but still cricket will miss him as a sportsperson .Recommend

  • Mehr

    Cheap hai kaafi.Recommend

  • Parvez

    One heard a lot of stories about Shoaib Akhtar antics but never anything connected to match fixing or stuff like that. His performance was as unpredictable as the performance of the Pakistan team but this attempt to grab attention through this book looks ill advised.Recommend

  • http://[email protected] rameez [email protected]

    jo kaha such kaha jio shoaib once moreRecommend

  • Qamar Zamir

    In all this autobiography will draw more criticism and Shoaib perhaps could have used this opportunity to reveal the positives of his career to balance out all the negative attention that he has so often received in his career.

    Despite all the criticism there is actually truth in what he has said and he has revealed some tasteful secrets that some did not want revealing.

    Tendulkar, Dravid are great players but amongst all those runs there are very few which have been converted to match winning innings when compared to that of which Inzamam has played.

    Behind all the glamour and glitz in the IPL there are also many things going on behind the scenes.

    Malik has always been a shady character and it’s not just Shoaib who has criticised him but Yousuf, Razzaq and Afridi have done so on many occasions in the past.

    Wasim, again another legend also had many fall outs with players and this only further proves the grouping which exists in the team.

    The ball tampering part will also convince everyone that it does happen and that it was not just allegations.

    The rawalpindi express is still chugging out those last few miles before it reaches it’s final destination…Recommend

  • Vijay

    Shoeb is Good
    I love you……………………….!Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    btw who is Shoaib Akhter ?Recommend

  • http://www.k.com k

    @Tanzeel:
    Sohaib is one of the greatest bowler of all time on Pakistan cricket team.Recommend

  • irfan khan

    shoaib’s comment are the reflection of his personal observations,experiences, and somehow dareness what ever he has had said about indian players(sachin and Dravid) that was his own opinion and by any means he has the right to say that, i dont understand why ppl are making a big fuss about it where he blamed srk for non payments that is once again a matter of non compliance to an agreed contract between him and srk; however when pakistani players were insulted during the ipl auction no one from india bothered to say any thing why every one is now so upset with just an opinion from an individual.Recommend

  • http://shoaib.jiyokhiladivahevahe manzoor

    shoib is big and his words ar great.controversially yours good to readRecommend

  • irfan khan

    Freedom of speech, is that really exists if yes then take into the consideration the recent statements by shoaib Akhter( The world’s fastest Bowler ever) whose comments in his book “Controversially yours” are the reflection of his personal observations,experiences, and somehow the conocation of some Dareness what ever he has had said about indian players(sachin and Dravid) that was his own opinion and by any means he has the right to say that, i dont understand why ppl are making a big fuss about it where he blamed shahrukh khan for non payments that is once again a matter of non compliance to an agreed contract between him and srk;by the way i am a Die hard fan of shahrukh khan; with Due Respcet to all my indian friends however when pakistani players were insulted during the ipl auction no one from india bothered to say any thing why ppl are now so upset with just an opinion from an individual.Any how for me Sachin and Dravid both are world class batters and wasim akram is one of all time Greatest fast bowler, but again i must say that what ever shoaib has written about them is his personal as well as an individualised opinion ,,,,,,which doesnt neccesary has any means to the Reality.Recommend

  • Amit

    @irfan khan:
    Pakistan Cricket gets insulted by IPL ???? Well blame ISI and The great Pakistan Govt and its Leaders which has bought Shame to the Country, Sports, People and Economy. Issues like IPL would never have occurred if hatred is the Country’s StrategyRecommend

  • rehmat

    @irfan khan:
    “shoaib’s comment are the reflection of his personal observations,experiences, and somehow dareness what ever he has had said about indian players(sachin and Dravid) that was his own opinion and by any means he has the right to say that, i dont understand why ppl are making a big fuss about it where he blamed srk for non payments that is once again a matter of non compliance to an agreed contract between him and srk;”

    IF SHoaib stuck to his comments, then at least one could respect his integrity. But in an NDTV interview, he has deinied saying that Shah Rukh is a cheat.. In fact he says Shah Rukh treated him very well. He has denied saying Sachin is not a great player. Kind of like Afridi made anti-India statements when he came to Pakistan but denied them all to NDTV.

    anyway look at Sachin’s record and Shoaib’s record. Facts speak for themselves.Recommend

  • Sameer

    @ Amit
    Indians are so biased and irrelevant to the topic that in every article and on every occasion they dragged the discussion into some political and religious matters.
    so please keep in mind while giving any comment that it is a sport related article and not about the ISI and the Pakistani Government.Recommend

  • geeko

    Damn, look at his arms. Recommend

  • maria

    I don’t understant how pakistani people react like this?allways they stand against Akhtar.weather is he right or not..they did’nt support him.they should learn from Indians how they support their players.even players are wrong.they did not think any thing only they support their players.for eg:-fought between Harbhajan & Symond inthat case sachin make fake stament he told lie in front of media & judges.only to protect harbhajan.Indian people didn’t react like this & they didn’t think about country ka naam duba diya,,,,shame for the country & wat ever.. blah… blah ..indians never think like that .pakistani board,people former players ,current players every body sab log sirf apne hekdi samhalne mai lage rehete hai.sach ka saath dena nahi chahate?what’s the matter if he wrote the book and expres his opnion.is mai mulk ko sharminda karne wali baath kahaan se agai hai??????Recommend

  • Mohsin Raza

    Shoaib say’s right that the sachin tendulkar is not a match winner player tendulker is only plyed the big innings by zimbave and other little team. dravid is better than sachin because he is the out class player sachin compaired with inzamam the inzamam is the very great plyer in world he is real man of match winner all teams has scarred the inzimam shoaib is great bowler in world the shewag is insulted by the shoaib because the shewag is also scarred for shoaib .
    shewag is child for shoaib no dout the shoaib is the great bowler in world .
    sachin has accepted the he is not a big plyer and he is not a match winner .
    sachin career is very long than he is record holder other his not deservd for this .Recommend

  • from India

    Regarding Ganguly’s support, he may be right, not sure though. However, as far as Sachin being fearful of him is concerned, perhaps he forgot that Sachin was made to face the mighty Ambrose at the age of 16, so sorry Shoaib, he can never be scared of you, no matter how much fast you bowl !!Recommend

  • kashiflaghari

    sach hamesha karwa hota h ………..Recommend

  • zareef

    Shoib akhter is best brave crickter in the world.shoib ka kirdar is liye kharaab hua ke ye kisi ke under me nahi ataa tha Recommend

  • mubashar hassan

    cricket by chance@kashiflaghari: Recommend

  • habib

    i liked your comment , when you talked about Master Blaster . you said that master will be the GOD of HINDO ,,,,,,, but not for me …………… this is the good point Recommend