Tag Archives: Shoaib Akhtar

Cricket and Islam

Is Pakistan winning this year’s Twenty20 a symptom of the receding influence of the Tableeghi Jammat in the team, asks Nadeem F. Paracha.

In 1996 when the underdog Sri Lankan cricket team created one upset after another to finally win that year’s prestigious Cricket World Cup, the then decade long Civil War on the island between the Sinhalese-dominated government and the Tamil Tigers took a subtle but definitive turn. [1] Continue reading

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Shoaib Akhtar’s genital warts keep him off T20 Team Pakistan

hoaib Akhtar’s genital warts keep him off T20 Team Pakistan
As injuries go, this one has to take the cake. And as for revelations and official press releases go, this one could be a sure nomination for the Oscar award for the best ‘visual’ effects, if not win it hands down!
In a statement graphic enough to necessitate a ‘Parental Guidance’ certificate, the Pakistan Cricket Board revealed, “The medical board has reported that Shoaib Akhtar was suffering from genital viral warts and the wound needs further care and treatment for a minimum 10 days for the purpose of healing and to achieve skin cover.”
For the uninitiated, I tried to dig it up in a medical dictionary, and it said, genital warts are a type of sexually transmitted disease (STD), also called a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Hmm, so just why the Pakistani cricket board came up with this explanation, when it would have sufficed to call it anything but what was revealed is beyond me. Unless of course, they wanted to embarrass him as a means of punishment to its perennially erring cricketer!
Akhtar has been one of Pakistan’s most controversial cricketers in their history. His offences range from the ever-so-common ball-chucking to doping, using abusive language in the ‘gentleman’s game’, smacking team-mates and calling the PCB chief by names!
Amidst all of this, Akhtar has had the time to send many a stump cart-wheeling, capture more than 400 wickets in all forms of international cricket, and bowl at speeds that are reminiscent to once found on a formula-one race track.
So while the Pakistani board has already announced that he will not be able to be featured in the ICC World T20 tournament, it would be interesting to know whether any action would be moved against the quick bowler for…er…having sex?

As injuries go, this one has to take the cake. And as for revelations and official press releases go, this one could be a sure nomination for the Oscar award for the best ‘visual’ effects, if not win it hands down!

In a statement graphic enough to necessitate a ‘Parental Guidance’ certificate, the Pakistan Cricket Board revealed, “The medical board has reported that Shoaib Akhtar was suffering from genital viral warts and the wound needs further care and treatment for a minimum 10 days for the purpose of healing and to achieve skin cover.”

For the uninitiated, I tried to dig it up in a medical dictionary, and it said, genital warts are a type of sexually transmitted disease (STD), also called a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Continue reading

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Shoaib Akhtar – a fallen hero

by Raza Rumi

I am not concerned with the technicalities of Shoaib Akhtar’s sentence, which have been the subject of much debate across Pakistan and indeed wherever cricket is played and followed. There have been some avoidable outbursts by both Akhtar and his disciplinarians. Akhtar has a chequered past in the conventional sense; and perhaps his tragic flaw is the cavalier attitude that is now a hallmark of his persona. But he is a star whose talent has done cricket, Pakistan, and Pakistanis proud. The quantum of punishment given to him has therefore been viewed as some sort of betrayal, and many have termed it unfair. But this is now a sub judice matter and so cannot be commented upon any further.

However, what lies underneath the narrative of Shoaib Akhtar’s plight relates to the sociological and attitudinal trends that have now engulfed Pakistan, like a poisonous creeper that consumes even the best kept plants in a garden.

Shoaib Akhtar is self-made, rising from humble origins into the global limelight. Born at Morgah, a small town near Rawalpindi, on August 13 1975, he is the youngest of four sons (he also has a younger sister) of an oil refinery worker. Far from following in his father’s footsteps, however, Akhtar began to show cricketing talent while still at school. It was at Asghar Mall College, during his twenties, that his extraordinary skill at the game was recognised; he played at increasingly high levels (including a spell for the English team Worcestershire), culminating in his selection for the national team in 1997. He then shot to international fame during the 1999 World Cup. Stunning spectators with his bowling ability, he went on to set the world record for bowling speed at 100.2 mph, where it still stands.

Nicknamed “The Rawalpindi Express,” Akhtar’s performance in the 1999 World Cup meant that he suddenly became a household name in Pakistan. The immense run-up, the hurtling legs, the characteristic flop of the hair: every young man on the Pakistani streets wanted to be Shoaib Akhtar. It is clear, however, that he belongs to no family or cartel of cricketers. Through this transition to stardom, Akhtar’s attitude reflected his independence and self-reliance, his use only of his own abilities, strengths and skills. Until now, he has defied the sport’s entrenched culture of patronage, and therefore has neither sought, nor benefited from, it. Hence his troubled relations with the authorities, and his reluctance to follow the ingrained feudal culture of obedience, have found resonance with a changing Pakistan. Continue reading

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