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Controversy claims Shoaib book launch in Mumbai

Press Trust of India

Posted: Sep 25, 2011 at 0056 hrs IST

Mumbai: The scheduled release of Shoaib Akhtar’s book in Mumbai on Sunday has been cancelled, with the organisers giving no reasons. Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar was to release Akhtar’s autobiography ‘Controversially Yours’ at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) premises. “The event has been cancelled,” confirmed a CCI official, without assigning any reason.

According to sources, the sudden cancellation may be because of less than flattering remarks about Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the book. Akhtar has made many controversial claims, such as Tendulkar did not have the ability to finish matches in the initial stages of his career. Meanwhile, a protest was held in suburban Dahisar on Saturday against Akhtar, for his comments on Tendulkar. Protesters carried Akthar’s posters on donkey-backs.

Akram hits back

Meanwhile, Wasim Akram ridiculed Shoaib Akhtar and his book, saying the pacer was a “problem” when he was an active player and remains just that even in retirement. “I remember Sachin’s one innings when he was 16 and touring Pakistan. The Sialkot Test was Sachin’s 4th Test. He made his debut in that series. There was a lot of grass on the pitch. Waqar and I bowled very fast. Waqar, I think, was 19 and Sachin was 16. Waqar hit him (Sachin) on the helmet just below the chin and he got hurt. But he put a plaster and he came back to score a 50. If a 16-year-old kid wasn’t scared, I don’t think any of the top batsmen in the world is scared of any bowler,” Akram said.

“I don’t think a player like Sachin can get scared of any bowler. He (Shoaib) can write anything to sell a book, but it does not affect me or Sachin,” the former left-arm paceman maintained.

On Akhtar’s allegation’s that he was responsible for destroying the former’s career, Akram said no one but the Rawalpindi Express himself was responsible for it. “I know, Shoaib knows and the entire world knows that he himself is responsible for destroying his career. Nobody helped him (in destroying his career). Whatever PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) has told the press I agree with that. I am with PCB (on Shoaib). They have said about Shoaib being a problem when he was in team and even now when he is not in the team,” stated Akram.

“I was the one who made him (Shoaib) play. But I don’t want to go to his level. There is an unwritten contract for sportsmen that you do not tell the personal details of others to the press. So some people are different. I am different from him. It does not bother me. He can go on saying whatever he wants,” the 45-year-old former speedster said.

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