Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan cricketer, wS one of the most ferocious fast bowlers of his era. With an ability to constantly clock the late 150 km/h mark, Akhtar, at his peak, was a frightening proposition for any batsman.
Akhtar’s career was, however, plagued with recurring injuries and constant controversies, which also includes getting banned for taking drugs.
Shoaib Akhtar, along with Mohammad Asif, was handed a ban ahead of the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy in India for taking a banned substance.
However, the former pacer has now claimed that he was persuaded to take drugs right from the start of his career, something he was always reluctant about.
“When I started playing cricket I was told you can’t bowl fast and to achieve good speed of 100 kmph I will have to use drugs. But I have always refused to do so,” Shoaib Akhtar was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan at the Anti-Narcotics Forces’ (ANF) annual drug burning ceremony.
Mohammad Amir was given the same advice- Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar also went on to allege that similar advice was given to Mohammad Amir before the dreaded tour of England in 2010 but the latter, unlike him, fell prey to bad company.
“Similarly Pakistani pacer Muhammad Amir was also cautioned before the tour of England but he was taken away by bad company,” he added.
Amir, along with Mohammad Asif and then skipper Salman Butt, were convicted of spot-fixing in the Test series that followed. While Asif and Butt were handed life bans, Amir made a comeback after serving a ban of five years but it is fair to say that he had by then lost crucial years of his career and hasn’t proved to be the same force that he was when he started off.