Shoaib Akhtar’s autobiography titled ‘Controversially Yours’ has drawn mixed reactions in the Pakistani cricket circles, with some former Test players insisting that he had to add spice and controversy to make it a bestseller.
“Look if there is no controversy, an autobiography does not sell and it is understandable he is aware of this,” said former captain Aamir Sohail.
Sohail said it would be unfair to pass any judgement on the book without reading it detail, and hoped the revelations made by Shoaib didn’t land him into trouble.
Former captain, Asif Iqbal was disappointed that Pakistan cricket was once again in the limelight for the wrong reasons.
“It is unfortunate that all these things have been said in his book but I guess having retired from he is now planning for a secure financial future,” the former captain said.
Former captain and wicketkeeper, Rashid Latif said that Shoaib’s decision to launch the book in India and bring out the controversies in the Indian media was commercially planned to make it a success.
“A lot of things he has said are true, some of his observations are also spot on but I guess he is going to make a lot of people unhappy.
“But no doubt even after retirement he remains one of our most enigmatic and controversial players,” Latif said.
“The unfortunate part is once again Pakistan cricket will be discussed for its negative things rather than achievements.”
Former pacer, Sarfaraz Nawaz said he was not surprised by the revelations.
“As far as his talk about Wasim Akram trying to derail his career is concerned, I can vouch that even when he was playing he had told me personally that he didn’t know why Wasim was after him and bent on destroying his career,” Nawaz said.
Salman Ahmed, who runs a sports management company and represented Shoaib during his first stint in the Indian Premier League, was however sceptical about the allegations that Shah Rukh Khan and Lalit Modi had cheated the pacer.
“I don’t believe this about Shah Rukh because I was present at a meeting at his home in Mumbai where he told Shoaib that he was like a brother to him and was even free to stay at his home. I know for a fact that Shah Rukh supported and cared a lot for Shoaib so I don’t know where this cheating issue has come up from.”
Salman, however, admitted that he knew for a fact that Shoaib got involved in some controversies during his first stint in the IPL which, if they had come out at that time, he would have been forced to take retirement.
“I can understand him using the big names in India to sell his book but he should be careful about saying too much as it could backfire on him,” Salman said. He also disclosed that the fast bowler had kept on negotiating with the banned Indian Cricket League while he was also in talks with the IPL.
“He wanted a price tag of one million dollars but because of his controversial nature no franchise was willing to pay that much and eventually he fetched a lower price from Kolkatta Knight Riders.”
Former chairman of the PCB, Tauqir Zia dismissed Shoaib’s talk about Akram trying to destroy his career.
“Look, Wasim retired in 2003 and Shoaib just this year. If Wasim had wanted him out of the team, I don’t think Shoaib would have played that much. There have always been problems between players but I think the comments about Wasim are unfair.”
Tauqir also had no doubt that many of the revelations by Shoaib were a gimmick to sell his book.
Former captain, Moin Khan said he was upset by many of the things that Shoaib had said in his book.
“I have not read the full book yet so I don’t know the exact details but I know one thing his comments about Wasim are grossly unfair and unjust and Wasim was one player who everyone looked up to and who guided the youngsters.”