The fastest bowler in the history of cricket, Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar has made some sensational claims in his autobiography ‘Controversially Yours’.
Exclusive preview of excerpts of Shoaib Akhtar, who holds the record for the fastest delivery in cricket ever clocking 161.3 km/h (100.2 mph), is no less controversial with the Rawalpindi Express admitting to ball tampering & also bragging that Sachin Tendulkar chickened out during the Faisalabad Test.
In his book Shoaib has said, “I bowled (Sachin) a particularly fast ball which he, to my amazement didn’t even touch. He walked away! That was the first time I saw him walk away from me-that, too, on the slow track at Faisalabad.”
Taking a dig at veteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid, the former Pakistani stump-wrecker has said that The Wall and Master Blaster are not match winners.
“I think players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid weren’t exactly match winners to start with, nor did they know the art of finishing the game,” Shoaib said.
In his autobiography, Akhtar has also alleged that he was cheated by Shah Rukh Khan and former IPL Chairman Lalit Modi.
He states, “Shahrukh and I talked about my not being happy with the money settled on me. Shahrukh and Modi got me to agree. I should have never listened to Modi and Shahrukh.”
Akhtar, who retired from cricket following the 2011 World Cup, has also shockingly revealed that he tampered with the ball claiming, “everyone tampers with the ball. I did so too. Tampering should be legalised.”
‘Controversially Yours’ shies away from little in Akhtar’s life. It maps his journey from an economically deprived, yet happy childhood, into an adolescence driven by his quest to break into Pakistani cricket. Born flat-footed, suffering whooping cough, Akhtar describes the blood, sweat and tears that took him to breaking the 100 mph barrier, playing as Pakistan’s ‘Rawalpindi Express’.
Comfort stayed elusive. Akhtar describes the severe class discrimination marring Pakistani cricket, the arrogance of the Pakistan Cricket Board ( PCB), his humiliation and his failures – including ball-tampering and even attacking teammates with a bat.
Alongside, he takes on Pakistani and international players, coaches, selectors and the media. Taking a dig at Shoaib Malik, Akhtar has stated in his book that the Pakistani all-rounder was PCB’s stooge. “Shoaib Malik doesn’t deserve to be captain and was made captain because he was a stooge of the PCB Chief Naseem Ashraf,” states Akhtar.
Not just this, the former Pakistani pacer also goes on to claim that legendary Pakistani pacer Wasim Akram attempted to finish him career. He states, “Wasim Akram threatened to walk out with half the team if I was included in the team. General Tauqir Zia backed Shoaib against Wasim.”
Akhtar, born Aug 13, 1975, in Rawalpindi, is a right hand fast bowler, who has been in the eye of several controversies during his career and has often been accused of being a “poor team player”.
In 2005, he was sent home during the Test series in Australia for “unprofessional attitude”.
A year later, he was snared in a drug scandal after testing positive for stimulants. Akhtar was banned in September 2007 for picking up a fight with teammate Mohammed Asif, and in the following year he was banned for five years for criticising the Pakistan Cricket Board.
In October 2008, the Lahore High Court suspended the ban. Akhtar retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup. His impressive run began in the 1990s.

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