Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan fast bowler, has not ruled out a possibility of serving the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in future.
Speaking to Nishad Padiyarath, soon after arriving in Muscat yesterday for the Ministry of Health’s blood donation drive, the maverick paceman who once feared many batsman’s across the world said he wants to bring old glory back to Pakistan cricket.
“I am not someone who runs behind the corridors of power,” Akhtar said. “But if an opportunity comes by I would love to serve Pakistan Cricket Board and will work hard to regain the old glory of Pakistan cricket,” he revealed. “You should know how to market cricket and if given a chance to run PCB, then I will find ways to make money. You should have aggressive and honest people on the board to run this sport,” he said.
Akhtar, who retired after the World Cup in 2011, had 178 Test and 247 ODI wickets in a 14-year-long career that was mainly marred by controversies and injuries. When asked as to why he was called a “controversial cricketer”, Akhtar smiled mischievously and said: “Name one person in Pakistan who was not controversial. Everyone had his share of controversies. So where is my fault? I was probably more famous than others.”
During an hour-long conversation, Akhtar also shared his most cherish moments, be it the two balls with which he silenced the crowd at Eden Gardens or the 100mph ball in the 2003 World Cup. “I had delivered as much as I had in my body,” said an emotional Akhtar. “I stayed away from match-fixing and I tried to stay as clean as possible. I never tried to walk in that path. I even advise the youngsters never to play the game for money. I still cherish that moment when I first wore the Pakistan jersey. There are no moments that I regret,” he said.
Akhtar also heaped praise on fast bowler Mohammed Amir, who was recently banned for spot-fixing charges that nearly dented the image of Pakistan cricket. “This happens because there is currently no inspiration in Pakistan cricket. But I am sure, Amir will come back strongly,” he noted.
Akhtar laughed-off when asked if he would join politics on his mentor Imran Khan’s ticket. “Politics does not interest me. My mother could not come out of the house for seven days after Benazir Bhutto’s assignation. There are rumours that I am offered a seat in some constituency but those are just rumours,” he added.