Even almost a decade after his retirement, one can’t keep Shoaib Akhtar out of the game. In his playing days, he was renowned for his breath-taking pace which made even the most skilful batsmen shiver. Post-retirement, Akhtar makes headlines mainly because of his outspokenness.
Akhtar’s viewpoints on a certain topic might rile up some people, but the tales and anecdotes he shares from his cricketing career always make up a fascinating and newsworthy story.
In his recent interview, The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ recalled his bond with Indian players and remarked that he once wrestled with Indian players Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh.
“I don’t wrestle, it’s my way of showing my affection to other people and I basically crossed the line. When I like someone, I throw them,” the speedster said on BBC’s Doosra podcast.
“I broke Yuvraj’s back, have previously broken Shahid Afridi’s rib by hugging him, and I made Abdul Razzaq stretch his hamstring a bit too much. So my way of loving people is a bit wild. It was just me being stupid in my younger days but I never realised my own power.”
The former pacer has previously remarked that both Yuvraj and Harbhajan are like his younger brothers.
“We were horsing around and doing some arm wrestling and that was all but Bhajji and Yuvi are my younger brother and there is no question of beating them up,” Akhtar said.
During the podcast, the 44-year-old also talked about scaling the 100mph barrier which he achieved during a match against England in 2003.
“Breaking the 100 mph barrier wasn’t a big deal to me. It was just media hype, an international cricket gimmick. I wasn’t getting paid for this – to break my bones trying to bowl that fast. I just thought ‘For heaven’s sake, I need to finish this and just do it.’ So I planned it all out, I started training for it,” concluded Akhtar.