"Controversially Yours" the autobiography of Shoaib Akhtar the world's fastest "chucker", was released a few days back. The autobiography, is in English!! And that by itself is a biggest controversy! Shoaib writing in english is like Curtly Ambrose singing a Ghazal. Sometimes, retired, forgotten ex cricketers need to show others and reassure themselves that they are still around. Income tax sleuths do not raid them, beautiful and famous women do not accuse them and even bookies do not name them in match fixing scandals!! It is in these circumstances that the name of Sachin Tendulkar comes into play! The easiest way Shoaib could get some publicity for his book was by using time tested method of taking potshots at Sachin Tendulkar It has advantages which are two-fold. (a) People know you exist and (b) Sachin Tendulkar is not exactly a god when it comes to giving it back! And perhaps that's the reason Shoaib chose Sachin and not Saurav Ganguly!!
Instead of taking Sachin on , "chucker" should have written the book himself in his trademark english, co- authored by Shahid Afridi and with a foreword by Inzamam ul haq!! Hot cakes would have disappeared like Shoaib's book! Now that Inzamam ul haq has retired from international cricket, the entertainment has gone out of the post- match presentation ceremonies! During the World cup in West Indies, Inzy was asked in a TV interview about the death of the then Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer; Inzy said "Everybody's shocking", which even left the Jamaican police shocked !! We will always miss you..... Inzamam ul Haq!! Whenever Michael Holding called upon Inzy for the post match interview by addressing him as "Inzomaan ool hawk" , it was a moment to die for!!
Cricket lovers had a ray of hope, when Shahid Afridi was the captain of the pakistani cricket team!! Golden era returned with the post match presentation ceremonies and people put their beer cans down to listen to Afridi's english! Sadly, after Afridi faded into oblivion we were robbed of that pleasure too! Ask Afridi the first question, and his answer would be "first of all i thanks the mighty allah."!!. Memories of Shoaib's special lines like "when i runs fast, i bowls fast" loaded with a Salman Khan accent or the BBC interview in which he said we pitch the "shorts" balls would make Kapil Dev sound like Harsha Bhogle!! With lines like these who needs Sachin for publicity?
Few years back, Sanjay Manjrekar (remember him?), said timings of Sachin's injuries were dubious suggesting that Sachin faked his injuries!! After Sanjay Manjrekar's career ended he did many things to torment us like cutting his own music album , tried his hand at comedy which he called commentary and make such statements about Sachin's injuries else who would remember him?
Taking up cudgels for his ex teammate, Shahid Afridi said that once, when he was fielding at square leg, he had seen Sachin "trembling" ,while facing ShoaibAkhtar! More than the batsmen, the square leg umpires were the ones who feared for their lives considering how Shoaib strayed down the leg side!! Shoaib saying that Sachin was trembling while facing him is like Manoj Bajpai saying that Amitabh Bacchan was trembilng while acting with him!! In fact, Rameez Raja, Harsha Bhogle, Ravi Shastri & co. trembled while controlling their laughter on TV cameras when Shahid Afridi came up for the post match presentation ceremony!! Even thed IPL franchisees trembled at the thought of bidding for Afridi & co.in their teams!! Even Joginder Sharma is prefered over Afridi by the teams at the IPL!
We asked Sehwag about Shoaib's comments on Sachin, and he replied in his charecteristic style, "Jab khelta tha to phekne ki aadat thi. khelna band kiya phir bhi phekta hai'.!!