Shoaib was a problem and remains a problem
Mumbai: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram today ridiculed Shoaib Akhtar and his controversial autobiography, which has made several tall claims, saying that the pacer was a "problem" when he was an active player and remains just that even in retirement.
Akram pooh-poohed Shoaib`s claims of making Sachin Tendulkar uncomfortable with his pace in the Faisalabad Test in 2006 and also rejected some of the other allegations he has made in the book titled `Controversially Yours`.
"I remember one of Sachin`s knocks in the Sialkot Test.
It was the fourth Test and the wicket had lot of grass, I was 22 and Waqar was 19 and we were very fast," Akram recalled.
"Waqar hit him on his chin and he came back after taking treatment and scored a 50. If a 16-year-old can`t be scared, I don`t think any batsman can be scared. It hardly matters what Shoaib says," Akram told reporters here.
Akram said Shoaib, who was a controversial figure all through his playing career, was just trying to sell his book with tall claims and also rejected allegations that he tried to destroy the tearaway pacer`s career.
"Whatever the Pakistan Cricket Board says, I am with them. He was a problem when he was in the team and he is a problem when he is out of the team," Akram said.
"He knows, I know and the world knows that he was himself responsible for destroying his career. There is a lot to talk but I don`t want to humiliate him. There is an unwritten code among players that some facts should not be revealed before the media," he warned.
"You guys (media) will ensure that his book is a bestseller," he said.
Talking about Indian cricket, Akram said Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men should brace up for tough times ahead when they tour Australia later this year as fast and bouncy wickets await them Down Under.
"The Australia tour will be challenging for India and they should expect bouncy wickets," he said.
Akram also advocated the resumption of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan.
"I am in favour of sporting ties between India and Pakistan. If players of these countries do well against each other, they can do well against anyone," he said.