Pakistan legend Wasim Akram has revealed that he was addicted to cocaine (a stimulant drug) right after the end of his playing days. The 1992 World Cup winner made these revelations in his soon-to-be-released autobiography ‘Sultan: A Memoir’.
Notably, Akram, who is Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker in both Test and ODI formats, bid farewell to international cricket in 2003 after 18-years-long glorious career but continues to travel across the world for commentary and coaching assignments.
“I liked to indulge myself; I liked to party. The culture of fame in south Asia is all consuming, seductive and corrupting. You can go to ten parties a night, and some do. And it took its toll on me. My devices turned into vices. Worst of all, I developed a cocaine dependence. It started innocuously enough when I was offered a line at a party in England; my use grew steadily more serious, to the point that I felt I needed it to function,” read extracts from his book, published in an interview in The Times.
Akram’s first wife, Huma, eventually got to know about her husband’s addiction and suggested him to take some help from the doctor. The former Pakistan captain also mentioned how taking cocaine changed him as a person, and he started ignoring his diabetes problem.
“It made me volatile. It made me deceptive. Huma, I know, was often lonely in this time . . . she would talk of her desire to move to Karachi, to be nearer her parents and siblings. I was reluctant. Why? Partly because I liked going to Karachi on my own, pretending it was work when it was actually about partying, often for days at a time. Huma eventually found me out, discovering a packet of Cocaine in my wallet . . . ‘You need help.’ I agreed. It was getting out of hand. I couldn’t control it. One line would become two, two would become four; four would become a gram, and a gram would become two. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I grew inattentive to my diabetes, which caused me headaches and mood swings. Like many addicts, part of me welcomed discovery: the secrecy had been exhausting,” Akram wrote.