Dubai: Former Pakistan captain and fast bowler Wasim Akram yesterday stressed the importance of ignoring people who rake up cricket controversies.
Commenting on the claims of alleged bookie Mazhar Majeed that many top cricketers are involved in match-fixing, Akram said: “This joker has been dropping names like Brad Pitt and Roger Federer and has said that he even knows Pervez Musharraf. It is high time everyone listened to people with credibility and not people like him, with no credibility.”
When asked for his remarks on Shoaib Akhtar’s claims in his autobiography that Sachin Tendulkar trembled with fear when facing him, Akram said: “I have only seen players shivering in bed when they had fever. I have never seen a player shiver with fear on the cricket field. It is high time everyone stopped taking people like Akhtar seriously. He never takes himself seriously.”
Asked to comment if former captain Shahid Afridi will be missed by Pakistan during the series against Sri Lanka in UAE, he said: “Afridi hasn’t played Test cricket for three years since he has retired. My advice to him is there will be differences in the team; differences with the chairman of the board, selection committee or coach but all these differences have to be settled.
“You cannot announce that you are retiring … that is the easy way out.
“Afridi has retired twice or thrice so it is not even funny. He has still got cricket left in him and I am all for him to continue playing. He is still only 34, though it is a mystery too, but he is a huge name worldwide.”
Coming back to life
Akram, who bagged 122 wickets in Sharjah, is delighted to see the venue returning to this scene.
“Sharjah is a part of me as I have been going there from 1984 and I am glad that this stadium is coming back to life,” he said.
He also called for an India-Pakistan series to be held there.
“If India does not feel comfortable playing in Pakistan or Pakistan playing in India they must play the series in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. UAE have the best facilities and with the ICC global cricket academy here with 20 practice wickets, two oval grounds and indoor facilities everything is here.
“So if India and Pakistan want to renew their ties, UAE is the best place.”
By K.R. Nayar, Chief Cricket Writer
Courtesy: GULF NEWS