Courtesy: Geo News
Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja lashed out at the country’s ex-pace sensation Shoaib Akhtar — referring to him as a “delusional superstar” — as the controversy around Akhtar’s derogatory remarks about national team players deepens.
Recently, the former seamer, popularly known as Rawalpindi Express for his extraordinary speed in bowling, made questionable comments about several players and this hasn’t sat well with cricket fans.
Speaking to a private television channel, Raja highlighted the recent incident where Akhtar ridiculed his fellow cricketer Kamran Akmal over his English pronunciation of screen, saying “sakreen nahi hota, screen hota hai (it’s not sakreen, it’s screen)”.
“Shoaib Akhtar is a delusional superstar,” Raja said. “He also recently had an issue with Kamran Akmal. He wants everyone to become a brand, but it is more important to become a human first. First, become a human and then a brand.”
He further said: “Our former players degrade our cricket brand by giving delusional statements. You will never see that happening in our neighbouring country.
“You will never see Sunil Gavaskar criticising Rahul Dravid. It only happens in Pakistan, where former players don’t let others do their job professionally.”
Raja also took a dig at Akhtar while talking about the latter becoming the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“He [Akhtar] needs to get a graduate degree first in order to become eligible for the chairmanship of PCB,” he said.
Comments on Shaheen
Recently, cricketer-turned-commentator Alan Wilkins also questioned Akhtar’s remarks on speedster Shaheen Afridi.
In a viral clip from an interview, Akhtar talked about Shaheen not completing his remaining overs during the final of last year’s T20 World Cup against England due to injury.
“If I were in his [Shaheen Afridi] place, I would have become the greatest celebrity of Pakistan during those 12 minutes by bowling the same number of deliveries,” he said. “I would’ve come to bowl, fall, break my knees, but I would’ve got up, used injection to numb my knees, and repeated the same again.”
Akhtar maintained that he would “rather die than let the World Cup slip away from our hands”.
“This was the moment that you could’ve become a superstar. If I were there, I would’ve died for Pakistan,” he added.
However, Wilkins opposed Akhtar’s remarks in a tweet on Tuesday.
“It’s an admirable thought but it is also a long time after the event. Shaheen Shah Afridi couldn’t have bowled on one leg even though he’s got the biggest heart in the team!” he said.