Pakistan cricket September 26, 2011

Shoaib feels the heat of his own inferno

Indeed, you might not know Shoaib Akhtar as a comedian but, almost by accident, he has made the world laugh
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You might not know there is a vogue for autobiographies by comedians. Indeed, you might not know Shoaib Akhtar as a comedian but, almost by accident, he has made the world laugh. Shoaib is a rare cricketer from his joint hyperextensions to his neuronal synapses. His career has been a journey of scandal interrupted by infrequent displays of brilliance. He is a captivating character on the field of play and an infuriating personality off it. He might even have been great had the fates and his own failings not wrecked his career trajectory.

Perhaps that is the fiercest motivation behind his autobiography, 'Controversially Yours'? A rare man damns his own deeds; far more palatable to damn the deeds of others. Shoaib prefers j'accuse to mea culpa.

Shoaib has a point. A more professional cricket board and better team leadership might have guided him more wisely through the scandals that besieged him. The throwing controversy and how it was handled by international umpires and the ICC was not his fault, but much else was. When a man of Bob Woolmer's consummate loyalty and patience despairs of you, you'd be sensible to look inwards for the source of your problems.

Shoaib hasn't looked inwards, he has struck out against the world safe in the knowledge that his cricketing career is over. That is his prerogative, to end on a sour note with former teammates and adversaries. If he doesn't rate Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid higher than Ricky Ponting or Viv Richards then fair enough, plenty of other cricketers would agree with him. Imran Khan, Shoaib's hero, whose more considered autobiography has just been released doesn't think Tendulkar comes close to Richards either.

Did Sachin fear Shoaib? Who knows? It was only Pakistan's madcap fast bowler who stared into the maestro's eyes in the heat of battle. A personal opinion requires neither reprimand nor apology, as reportedly demanded by the BCCI.

Of the rest, nothing seems particularly new, a rerun of old rivalries, intrigues, and badmashies. Capturing the world according to Shoaib is a worthy effort. He is a difficult man to pin down in a verbal joust. Ask him about Sachin and he'll tell you about Brian Lara. He will mumble incoherently in English and end with no greater clarity in Urdu. He will use a torrent of words -- many in common usage, some of his own invention -- in an unpredictable order and manage to say nothing at all.

Shoaib remains an entertainer, a legend in his mind's eye--simply the best, better than the rest. He deserves respect for some of the incredible spells he produced during a tarnished career. He deserves sympathy for the way his cricket board and a succession of captains found it impossible to mentor him. But his career was left unfulfilled by dint of his own misdemeanours as much as, if not more than, by the malice of his enemies.

One of the fascinations of human existence is that we might all experience the same events but we will interpret them in our own, possibly very different ways. That is the power of autobiography. It is one view, a chance at explaining how you saw it without fear or contrition, and Shoaib saw that the world was against him. He also saw an opportunity to grab the limelight, to diss and tell.

In that moment of mad self-promotion, a moment that the media was happy to help sensationalise, the story of Shoaib Akhtar managed to overshadow the greater history of Imran Khan's life in cricket and politics, and the lesser landmark of Waqar Younis coaching Pakistan to a whitewash over Zimbabwe in his farewell series. Unfortunately, Shoaib's achievements take far fewer words to catalogue than his love of controversy. In autobiographies, there is usually no smoke without fire but the heat you feel from the blaze depends on how the central character has read the smoke signals. Shoaib saw an inferno. The marketing team for his publishing house did the rest.

Every man, Shoaib Akhtar included, has a right to make a fool of himself, especially in his autobiography.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • adnan gilani on November 22, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    comments on the trial of salman Butt, Asif & Amir i do believe that the whole inquiry was fare enough to catch the culprits, and was done on solid grounds. yet it is a bit harsh to place them in jail as it is a place for thugs, criminals and what not. these cricketers are after all stars which deserve more that that which is to place them in house arrest along-with ban including a huge sum of amount in terms of cash to pay in order to plea. they must be given a better treatment on humanitarian grounds

  • kingisking on November 11, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    absolutely right

  • Danish Bawla on November 11, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Shoaib never said Sachin was scared of him. Read the books guys. Its a great book. Dont just believe the media and dont form an opinion without reading the book.

  • Ranjit P on November 1, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Really admire Kamranji's way with words! What characters, each and every Pakistan cricketer..and what great natural cricketing talents! Seems like, the more the chaos in Pak cricketing organisation, more are these precious gems, get unearthed. It is wonderful that at least in writing this book, Shoaib had someone to guide him.

  • krishna murty on October 22, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    Come on Guys. Indians AND Pakistanis AND ALL CRICKET lovers (all over the world,Every man is entitled to his own opinion! I am a fan of Sachin as well of Viv Richards and Dravid. I am also a fan of the two Ws and the West Indian pace battery etc. Sachin is great in his own way as is Shoaib in his own. Why should we get all het up and red around the ears just bcoz of HIS personal opinion? Chill and enjoy BOTH Sachin AND Shoaib's prowess that they had each displayed, at various times and at times against each other.

  • Shahid on October 19, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    Lethal vs Legend. Respect for both but Love for Shoaib. He will be missed by all of us.

  • shahzad on October 18, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Totally agree with Israr's comments....well said

  • Faraz Khan on October 14, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    Playing a fast bowler like Shaoib specially at his peak is not easy. And, I am sure any batsman must have his heart pounding as Shoaib approaching the bowling crease.

  • Talat Hamdany on October 13, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    I think it was Gavaskar who said that any batsman who says he's not scared when the two Ws are in operation is a liar. Tundulkar please speak.

  • Balaji Krishnamurthy on October 5, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    I always thought seeing Akhtar charging in and bowling was a real sight to see. But he has too high an opinion of himself. It is not wrong to be proud, but hubris is not called for. Shoaib Akhtar was a very good bowler who missed the bus to greatness. I don't understand the way he kept taking potshots at the two W's. In the late 90's Wasim Akram played him ahead of Waqar Younis. He did'nt have the bloody mindedness which characterises a great player, like Akram, Younus, Tendulkar, Dravid etc. Ultimately, Akhtar ended up marginalized by his own team and left a lot of people wondering about what may have been.

  • adnan gilani on November 22, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    comments on the trial of salman Butt, Asif & Amir i do believe that the whole inquiry was fare enough to catch the culprits, and was done on solid grounds. yet it is a bit harsh to place them in jail as it is a place for thugs, criminals and what not. these cricketers are after all stars which deserve more that that which is to place them in house arrest along-with ban including a huge sum of amount in terms of cash to pay in order to plea. they must be given a better treatment on humanitarian grounds

  • kingisking on November 11, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    absolutely right

  • Danish Bawla on November 11, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Shoaib never said Sachin was scared of him. Read the books guys. Its a great book. Dont just believe the media and dont form an opinion without reading the book.

  • Ranjit P on November 1, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Really admire Kamranji's way with words! What characters, each and every Pakistan cricketer..and what great natural cricketing talents! Seems like, the more the chaos in Pak cricketing organisation, more are these precious gems, get unearthed. It is wonderful that at least in writing this book, Shoaib had someone to guide him.

  • krishna murty on October 22, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    Come on Guys. Indians AND Pakistanis AND ALL CRICKET lovers (all over the world,Every man is entitled to his own opinion! I am a fan of Sachin as well of Viv Richards and Dravid. I am also a fan of the two Ws and the West Indian pace battery etc. Sachin is great in his own way as is Shoaib in his own. Why should we get all het up and red around the ears just bcoz of HIS personal opinion? Chill and enjoy BOTH Sachin AND Shoaib's prowess that they had each displayed, at various times and at times against each other.

  • Shahid on October 19, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    Lethal vs Legend. Respect for both but Love for Shoaib. He will be missed by all of us.

  • shahzad on October 18, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Totally agree with Israr's comments....well said

  • Faraz Khan on October 14, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    Playing a fast bowler like Shaoib specially at his peak is not easy. And, I am sure any batsman must have his heart pounding as Shoaib approaching the bowling crease.

  • Talat Hamdany on October 13, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    I think it was Gavaskar who said that any batsman who says he's not scared when the two Ws are in operation is a liar. Tundulkar please speak.

  • Balaji Krishnamurthy on October 5, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    I always thought seeing Akhtar charging in and bowling was a real sight to see. But he has too high an opinion of himself. It is not wrong to be proud, but hubris is not called for. Shoaib Akhtar was a very good bowler who missed the bus to greatness. I don't understand the way he kept taking potshots at the two W's. In the late 90's Wasim Akram played him ahead of Waqar Younis. He did'nt have the bloody mindedness which characterises a great player, like Akram, Younus, Tendulkar, Dravid etc. Ultimately, Akhtar ended up marginalized by his own team and left a lot of people wondering about what may have been.

  • rehan on October 4, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Look at Ganguly saying Shoiab gone mad, Is there any Pad left on earth which DADA was not hook up with while facing Shoaib? How come one can compare viven Richards with Tendulkar or any other indian batsman, Cricket was used to play with big hearts and less pads in 80s by West indians not indians, I think the remaining batsmen of indian line up were also scared from Shoaib, It is nice of Shoiab that he did not mention that!

  • Jaytirth on October 1, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    @Posted by: Ghulam Ghaus at September 29, 2011 11:31 PM As for making comparisons with sachin tendulkar and lara please get real, the modern batsman has many advantages thicker bat, powerplays, batting friendly pitches whereas bowler has disadvantages. Give Lara or Viv Richards powerplays there runs would be higher then tendulkar any day! Even Sachins 200 dont compare with Saeed anwar's 196 differnt era's differnt advantages. --------------------------------------------------------------- ROFL! Sachin debuted much before Lara. Comparing Sachin with Anwar! hilarious. Somebody please help this man.

  • Jaytirth on October 1, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Posted by: getsetgopk at September 30, 2011 3:16 AM Is it just me or anyone else out there who thinks its way too lame to compare a first ball duck in a test match to a six in an ODI match. --------------------------------------------------------------- It was not just the six that people remember. It was followed by a four and a four. Akhtar gave 18 runs in his first over and Waqar had to discontinue his spell. Pakistan's bowling plans went for a toss. Pakistan lost the confidence to face India especially in the World Cups.

  • Shawn on September 30, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Every genius has or had scandals. Like Shane warne,Andrew symonds,Cronje, Gibbs even wasim akram himself. Shoaib as well. But no doubt he was a devastating bowler especially with his unplayable yorkers. Both Sachin & Dravid r great batsmen. I cant compare them wid shoaib but I can say shoaib was a match winner where they not. IN 99 centuries of sachin india won only 60. shoaib was such a fast boweler who can break both bat & bones(ganguly). Even Ricky ponting said that he never seen such a fast bowler. so if shoaib says that Tendulkar fears him I think its legal. Shoaib was a great enertainer & still in his biography.....

  • SayedJee on September 30, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    "One of the fascinations of human existence is that we might all experience the same events but we will interpret them in our own, possibly very different ways. That is the power of autobiography." You are a scholar man!

  • mustafa khalil on September 30, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    everyone has the right to say whatever he feels.... Even sachin tendulkar would have understood what shoaib meant to say.... autobiographies have a vogue of comedians, very well said Mr kamran Abbasi

  • Gurunarayanan on September 30, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Both are great players. But there is one difference. Be it Akthar or McGrath or Bradd Hogg, Tendulkar always treated the opponents with respect. He never talks. His batting does the talking for him.

  • Azar Abbas on September 30, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Shoaib is the Brock Lesnar of Cricket..!

  • vicky on September 30, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    first of all-cricket is not a game of 1-2 balls,its abt d whole match..shoaib has never been a team man.he believs in show off,hit his team mate wid a bat..nd god knows what.HOW CAN SUCH A PLAYER COMMENT ON ANYBODY?? shoaib is just like sreesanth in terms of attitude..dey never paly for the team..and talking about gr8 players like sachin,poiting,dey dnt belive in personal battles,dey believe in team play.pak team cud hav ben awesome if shoaib playd 2 his potential..but he never cared fr his team!!!

  • getsetgopk on September 30, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    Is it just me or anyone else out there who thinks its way too lame to compare a first ball duck in a test match to a six in an ODI match.

  • yasir on September 30, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    I would just say actions speak louder than words ,,, Tendulkar's class doesnt need to b proved to any one and wot shoaib has achieved is known as well ,, shoaib even admitted himself in one of his interviews that sachin was scared of me in 2006 cz he was suffering frm tennis elbow but he was superior in 2003 wc semifinal. Both are stars and have achieved alot for their countries and cricket. why dont we just enjoy the game cz end of the day its cricket that wins.

  • Ghulam Ghaus on September 29, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    As for making comparisons with sachin tendulkar and lara please get real, the modern batsman has many advantages thicker bat, powerplays, batting friendly pitches whereas bowler has disadvantages. Give Lara or Viv Richards powerplays there runs would be higher then tendulkar any day!

    Even Sachins 200 dont compare with Saeed anwar's 196 differnt era's differnt advantages.

  • Ghulam Ghaus on September 29, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    I dont find anything wrong about Shoaibs comments its premature to say anything untill you have not read the book it self. its the stupid india media as usual presenting wrong info, the books says no such thing. Shoaib has explained in interviews what he meant and he was talking of a specific moment in a game about him being scared and who wouldnt after all every batsman is worried about pace no matter how good he is.

  • Anshu on September 29, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    People talking about Tendulkar's match-winning hundreds are unfairly omitting the innumerable match-winning innings of 50 to 99 that Tendulkar played. Against Pakistan, he has won 3 World Cup MoMs for match-deciding half-centuries (from 54 to 98). Other match-winning or crucial half-centuries against Pakistan include the attacking 89* in Toronto in 1996 (against the 2Ws), the tri-nation matches in Dhaka in the late 90s when India beat Pakistan twice (where Sachin even bowled well) and chased 300+ in the final, the 80s and 90s he scored in Pakistan in 2004 and 2006 and in India in 2006/2007. And in Test cricket, his 136 at Chennai vs the 2Ws, Saqlain, etc. was one of the greatest Test knocks in the 1990s... he made 50% of the runs in a 4th innings chase... only Brian Lara's 153* at Barbados edges ahead of that knock (and Lara was dropped by Healy off Gillespie when WI were 10 runs short... he then edged McGrath just past 1st slip... before finally hitting the winning 4)

  • Dr. Ali on September 29, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    I'll be afraid of Akhtar even if Akhtar was an Indian, that ball is stone hard and it can land you in hospital in seconds. Did'nt you guys saw teeth flying in Bang Zim match? Anyone saying sachin was not afraid of Akhtar is irrelevant untill they've played with a real cricket ball themselves. And Akhtar has won the right to say that about sachin and dravid because Akhtar has won most battles than lost against these two, so hats off to the real 'fast' bowler.

  • Nabeel on September 29, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    Well, I have seen kallis really scared of shoaib but sachin little carefull with shoaib bowling.Well, I have seen kallis really scared of shoaib but sachin little carefull with shoaib bowling.

  • Adil on September 29, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    I read all of your columns Kamran, and like your style, I agree with you most of the times but on this occasion you made a fool of yourslef more then Shoaib did. He expressed his opinion just like you do yours through this column. He said what he saw and what he felt, and he doesnt say anything outrageously stupid. For you to commenting on his book without reading it at all, and based on some twisted, out of context reference from Media makes me feel of you as a higher ranking samething what you are accusing Shoaib for... Thanks

  • Varun Anand on September 29, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    I am not a great fan of Sachin, but I admire for his enormous super human feats of endurance and concentration.

    I also fail to understand this 'matchwinner' concept. In these days, where every move of a batsman is studied in videos, every weakness analysed with computer videos, a batsman single-handedly winning a match is long gone. It requires 11 players together to perform a win a match. Viv would not have won matches without the fearsome fast bowlers. When he played after the fast bowlers retires, he was a shadow of himself. There can be a match winning bowler, yes, there can't be a match winning batsman, at least, in test matches. In a long career, every batsman will have one or two 'star' innings that win matches, but, it is impossible to do that throughout your career.

    But, I fail to understand, from the comments above, why the entire nation of Pakistan seem to be holding Sachin in poor esteem? That is rather revealing, isn't it?

  • Jaytirth on September 29, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    @Ali at September 29, 2011 8:30 AM --------------------------------------- Try to understand that cricket is a team game. Sachin scoring a century at a good strike rate does not in itself mean India should win. Atleast few others players have to play their role for a team to win. Viv Richards and Ponting had the best bowlers in their team to take 20 wicket in a test. India always had problems in finding world class bowlers. In your statistics, you are considering only centuries. Sachin has scored plenty of important half centuries against Pakistan ( e.g 98 in 2003 WC, 85 2011 WC, half centuries in 92WC and 99WC). I am sure there are many other matches where he has scored a half century and India won. Try to search for it.

  • Harsh Thakor on September 29, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    Shoaib must remember that Lara was the greatest champion in losing causes.Although more talented and a better batsman than Sachin at his best ,he was not as complete.Sachin handled the likes of Alan Donald and Wasim Akram even better than Lara.True Lara performed better against Mcgrath but against Mcgrath and Warne together Tendulkar was superior.I can never forget Sachin's hundred against S.Africa on the fastest of wickets on the last tour facing Daryl Steyn at his best.Sachin played like Bradman more than any batsman ever and that speaks for itself.

  • Harsh Thakor on September 29, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman of his era and arguably 2nd only to Bradman.True he may not have posessed Viv Richards'spectacular genius against pace bowling or Lara's innovative ability but he was more consistent than both of them and held his own on the most difficult wickets.No batsman has arguably been as complete as Sachin or has faced as much pressure.Scoring 51 international hundreds speaks for itslf which will never be equaled .Had Sachin received the support Viv Richard's or Ponting did he would have won twice as many matches.

  • Zain Hamidi on September 29, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    I totally agree with you Kamran. One thing I would like to highlight though........a fad more pronounced in our new breed of cricketers. There have been infinitely greater Pakistani cricketers then the like's of a Shoaib or a Afridi.....yet none of them created so much noise with so little substance.My advice to both of them would be......."U've out-lived your sell-by date.......next please"

  • masood on September 29, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    I think we all have gone wrong in our opinions.Being a cricketer...from any country who represents the nation is always a proudest moment.all are great but we must admit that all have the right to have their opinion as how they viewed their spell of cricketing year.If sachin and dravid are good...so is shoaib....whats the point in belittling anyone in our comments.lets give shoaib and other their due shares and all were good and had their days in the field too.so please view it as a sportsman and not emotinally.......and lets admit that shoaib was a better bowler than so many in the world from bowlers point of view and ponting;dravid;lara;sachin are better batsman....three cheers to cricket and all will live on for another day.enjoy the reading and cricket too.

  • Ali on September 29, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    check the record of Sachin, his average is well below his overall average against Pak. He average 42 only in test against Pak and he features in 5 loss and 5 wins and other draws out of 18. He only has 2 centuries out of 51 against pak. So he is just an average player against Pak, which had one of the finest bowling attack in last two decades.

    His one day average is also well below where he averages only 39.9 against Pak compared to 45 overall. His centuries against pak are 5 only out of which 4 are in lost cause. He lost more than he won against Pak out of 68 played by him india lost 36. So no credentials here to cheer about.

    Shoaib is quite right when he speaks about Sachin with his experience. He never gave Pak any scare as did sehwags, yuvraj or dhonis do regularly. So stop crying accepts it as Shoaib's observation proven by the stats. You have better match winners than Sachin in your teams. And thanks to those that sachin can say when he played india did achieve something. :)

  • Venkat on September 29, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    Bang on. If whatever was stated in the book was his opinion, then Akthar has a right to express it. And I could forgive all his sins for that one afternoon's bowling in Colombo (Tamil Union Ground was it?). Apparently spurred on by Hayden calling him a b-grade movie actor, Shoaib just ran through the hear of that batting order. And what a batting order it was. I was sitting with goosebumps when I was watching it. For that one spell alone Shoaib has the right to make a fool of himself

  • Israr on September 29, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    well... i think nobody bothers to read the book but they just read in the newspaper that shoaib said this and they are out on the roads protesting... shoaib never said sachin refused to play against him or something like that...he just mentioned one particular occasion when sachin was having a tennis elbow and shoaib said that it made him uncomfortable and an easy target for the fast bowler... nobody is praising how he appreciate ganguly and dhoni... and when sachin writes his autobiography, he may well paste the whole scoreboard of the WC2003 if he wants to... its democracy...free world...everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion... and i am sure when sachin writes, he will surely mention if he was afraid in that test or not... and when you are hit for 20 runs as a bowler it surely shake your confidence and rhythm and you need sometime to regroup yourself..but a batsman cannot do it... i think everybody should read the book and hope it will clear the picture :)

  • Khawaja Naveed Zafar on September 29, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Shoaib's career has brought very embaracing moments for all the countrymen and even after getting retired he has once again brought his country's image a bad impression in the International cricketing World.

    Very Sad......

  • talha on September 29, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    I think in order to be called a genuine match winner you should have the ability to win test matches and test series for your team. ODIs can be won by anyone but winnig a test for your team is something special. I am sorry to all my indian friends but if they look at the highest number of "Man of match" and "Man of the series" list, Sachin is way down. He is number 8 in the man of the match list and number 15 in the man of the series list, depite the fact that he has played the highest number of matches in the history of the game. If you look at the records Imran Khan has been the biggest match winner in the history of the game, as out of the 28 series he has played, he has been the man of the series in 8, which ia quite remarkable. Percentage wise he is the best amongst all. Amongst batsmen Ponting, Lara, Kallis,S Waugh, Desilva, Gooch all have a better record of man of the match and series than sachin.Indians should look at this without being biased.

  • rankeds on September 29, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    there is difference of daylight between shoaib and wasim, thats why wasim is respected world over.and shoib, well has a place in few jingoistic fan's heart.

  • Rohit on September 29, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    well.. if someone wants to fool himself into thinking that Sachin is scared of shoaib.. they are welcome to do so.. i think this will go down in pakistan's history textbooks as another chapter of their own-created, fantasized past.. I do see the pattern now..!!

  • B S Kumar on September 29, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    It is as Shoaib wanted - controversially yours! No matter what he feels about Sachin or anybody else, he has a right to say what he wants in his autobiography. And, no matter what, when it is "at the end of the day", Sachin will be remembered as a legend and an impeccable ambassador of the sport, but Shoaib will unfortunately be remembered as something much less. Shoaib bowled amazing spells, but I suppose this book will be the punctuation of his life. Even that is exactly as he wants it, so let the man do his thing.

  • Deb on September 28, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    To all those who are citing that one Shoaib delivery to Sachin at Eden Gardens, I would like to remind them the one delivery from Shoaib that Balaji(a no 10 batsman)hoisted him for a sixer. Does that make Balaji is a great batsman? By the way even Harbhajan Singh has belted him for a six.

  • waqar on September 28, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    As wasim akram said, shoaib will be remembered as the fastest bowler, not the best!

  • mavia on September 28, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    I just have to say about shoib akhter that he is the fastest bowler of the world and all know it very well what type of bowler he is and on the other hand tendulker i have see many times sachin struggling agains pindi express so what shoib said about sachin is true and every body should accept this reality.........

  • Imran Khan on September 28, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    Sachin and Dravid may be the greatest players on their home turfs but they are not match winners, not at all and it would be unfair to compare them with the likes of Imran Khan and Viv Richards because they were the ones who built their teams into strong units and they never chased records.

    As far as Shoaib's bad boy image is concerned, I think in Afridi's reign as captain Shoaib was controversery free which shows that Afridi knew how to handle Shoaib and Shoaib performed brilliantly under Afridi which shows that he wasn't that kind of a trouble maker that most of the public still thinks he is.

    Overall, people are taking his comments too personally but I think Shoaib's lethal bowling still continues as he is smacking the reality out of everyone.

  • rankeds on September 28, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    I dont think ,by posting comments here,we are going change perception of anybody about either player.so just chill.

  • Raza Ali on September 28, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    Its funny that all indians want everyone to praise sachin no matter what. Well, i dont expect anything better from them though but no matter how good Sachin is, his average isnt the best of all times. If Richards and Sobers have played over 175 test matches they would`ve scored more runs than Sachin. Shoaib's comments about Sachin and Dravid are his own thinking, whats the fuss...when someone say Sachin is the best in the world then its ok, but when someone think otherwise then issues are raised. We must not forget that sachin is a human being born with abilities but with weaknesses also.

  • Dr. Talha on September 28, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    There is only one bowler in the history of the game who has got the likes of Ponting, Steve waugh, Mark waugh and Gilchrist in the span of 10 deliveries, on a an absolute flat pitch in colombo...and that is SHOAIB AKHTAR!!! so sachin scared of shoaib is no surprise to me. sachin has even struggled in front of McGrath and Donald. Even Waqar troubled him a lot. I remember once in toronto in 1996 waqar struck sachin on the pads on 4 consecutive deliveries. and all 4 times it was very close. sachin did struggled against world class bowlers of his era. Had he played during the late 70s and 80s his test average would have been in early 40s. Viv is by far the best batsman of the modern era followed by Lara.

  • Hassaan Yasin on September 28, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Sachin maybe the greatest batsman of his era but he surely failed to the inspire others around him. Indians refer to him as God but they fail to realise that Ganguly and Dhoni have had the greatest impact on Indian cricket but for some odd reason these two don't get the same amount of respect as Sachin (especially Ganguly). Ganguly showed them how to fight and transformed them into a unit that had this belief that they could compete against anyone. I lost a lot of respect for Sachin when he opted out of the Caribbean tour. I'm sure the primary reason was that he wanted to score his 100th ton against a top side in their own backyard in front of thousands. And in the end he got what he deserved.

  • Ibad Ullah Muhammad on September 28, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    I don't get it why Sachin Tendulkar is considered as a machine who is never scared of anything, like all humans he too have emotions. If he is the best he should have single handedly won every match that india plays, remmber the yorker ball produced by Mr Shoaib Akhter that earned tendulkar the first golden duck if he was not afraid then why he was playing that ball on the back foot he should have slammed that for six. Sachin Tendulkar very rarley uses hi footwork which is a mandate for a good batsman then how come he is the best, indians should be courageous enough to overlook their patriotism while debating on such issues.

  • Fayiaz Awan on September 28, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    I want to say only few words, in my opinion all players are super stars of their careers, and Shoaib was too (for a very short time i believe), and no doubt about Sachin and Dravid's achievements in cricket history. please leave cricket alone free of politics.

  • Tajamal on September 28, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    I know a test match where shoaib bowled two or three bouncers in consecutive overs and then one on leg side chest height. Shoaib appeal umpire given not out but tendulkar walked away. And bu replays it was clear that there was no connection between bat and ball. He was completely scared . After this indian media criticized tendulkar in different ways.What happened to ganguly after a bouncer by shoaib, everyone knows.

  • vishwanath on September 28, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    WHEN WARNE SAID HE HAD "NIGHTMARES" AFTER SACHIN SMASHED HIM WE AS A COUNTRY WE LAPPED UP THE NEWS AND WHEN AKTHAR SAYS HE "FRIGHTENED" THE LITTLE MASTER WE ARE UP IN ARMS AGAINST AKTHAR .......COME ON INDIANS.

  • Rahul on September 28, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    There are batsmen of highest caliber who came forward and said they were uncomfortable facing the like of Thompson, Lilee, Waqar and Marshal in their pick and then there are bowlers who openly admited of not relishing the chance to bowl to Richards, Sachin, Saeed anwar and Jayasuriy. But Shoaib's is a entirely different breed. What is he going to achieve by stating that any batsmen let it be Sachin or no 11 were scared of facing him? This self boasting has never helped him while he was playing the game, it might help him now to sell few more books. The Sachin Vs Shoaib debate is never ending as for the 1st ball duck in the kolkata test there is always that six over point in Joburg at the world cup of 2003. In cricket and in life you need to give respect to earn one.

  • gools fold on September 28, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    shoaib akhtar and tendulkar?? werent they on oprah last month? no?? err, sorry. my mistake. kthxbye.

  • Waheed on September 28, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    I think its his personal view and he is free to express.As Shoaib said,

    "It his view and doesn't mean to hurt. Its only 500/Rs book, If you like it then read it, otherwise you can buy "Chaat"

  • Jaytirth on September 28, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    The answer to all the questions and doubts about Sachin being a match winner is just one: 2003 World Cup Ind vs Pak match. Sachin's attack not only shook Akhtar's confidence but also his captain's. Waqar discountinued his spell. Now tell me, who is afraid of whom?

    P.S: For all those who are saying that Viv was better than Sachin as a match winner watch 1983 World Cup final. Viv threw his wicket chasing an easy target and WI lost the cup never to gain it again.

  • Jaytirth on September 28, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Bradman thought Larwood was faster than Thompson. Sobers rates Subhash Gupte higher than Warne. So Imran rating Richards higher is no surprise. Sportsmen for some or the other reason always rate their comtempraries higher.

  • rankeds on September 28, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    let alone sachin ,even bhajji is not scared of shoaib.he's proved that too. and for those who say sachin is not a finisher,I think,these people need to understand basic concept of cricket,that an opener is not / need not finish matches.he's supposed to give a blasting start,which sachin has given ALWAYS.

  • Rohit on September 28, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    @Waqar.. do u mean to say that Ponting, Lara, Mahela, Sangakkara have never had a bad series??? and i really dont get this rant about him being selfish.. !! Every run he scores adds to India's tally as well.. Its not like he has some separate scorecard. Also, can u tell me one occasion when his selfishness has cost India the match.. ???? Never..!! Tendulkar is the ultimate team man and everyone in world cricket knows that.. most of all his teammates and opposition.. !!

  • Ziggy on September 28, 2011, 3:00 GMT

    @Suneel: only one way to find out read his biography lol

  • Truemans-ghost on September 27, 2011, 20:51 GMT

    Interesting that he says what he does about tendulkar and Dravid. The contrast with shoaib himself is instructive. They both have superb averages but have maintained them over long careers. Shoaib has a superb bowling average and was brilliant on his day..... But the reason he has 180 wickets not 350 is down to the flaws he has and Dravid and sachin lack.

  • Max on September 27, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    How come the Pakistani people and cricketers are not aggrieved by Akhtar's claim that all Pakistani bowlers, including him, indulged in ball tampering right from domestic cricket? I'm very surprised that Kamran didn't even address that issue. (Also, why is Akhtar launching his book in another country, India, instead of Pakistan? Weird.)

  • waqar ahmed on September 27, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Shoaib is absolutely right in his statement that sachin used to fear him. Every sane cricket follower except indians would accept that sachin's ability in crunch situations is always found wanting. The "Little Master" plays for the sake of his own records. I mean was his greatness sleeping during the last tour of england where anderson and party wrecked havoc. On the other hand players like ponting, Inzi, Lara, Mahela, Sangakara have always stood tall in crisis. Sachin truly lacks match winning qualities. I 100% agree to shoaib's claim regarding sachin's meekness.

  • Straddler on September 27, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    By the way, Shoaib is free to believe that he scared a great like Tendulkar in a Test match. It's his perspective of things. But we should also remember the time when he himself got scared and refused to bowl. Wasim Akram revealed this a few years ago in his interview to Star Sports about the 2003 WC match against India... Shoaib refused to bowl another over after he got punished by Tendulkar at the start of the innings. Waqar, Akram, Razzaq, etc. had to bear the burden for the next hour or so.

  • shafqat on September 27, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    Sachin and Dravid were legends in the history of cricket,they had been consistent in their performance.While as the Akthar too was the best bowler with pace world have ever seen but his performance has not been consistent at all.This way we can't compare them. But one thing have to accept, Akthar was the real entertainer and most of the cricket fan likes him when he was in the ground.

  • Nikhil on September 27, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    Well, also if Shoaib could also reciprocate kindly, if people 've been scared of him, there've been times, Shoaib has been battered at that very pace, for eg; MS Dhoni's 148 of 153 balls at Faisalabad in 2nd Test of 2006. Shoaib should care to look the way Dhoni blasted, hooked him repeatedly & made him utterly impotent. Those innings could be one of the best counter-attacking innings in Test cricket.

  • Srini on September 27, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    Someone of Akhtar's pace would be an asset to any captain. So, I doubt if his captains intentionally tried to derail his career even if he had overtaken them by superior performance. When he was at his fastest, I could see concern, if not fear, in the eyes of the batsmen. It could be fear of losing one's wkt if not a physical threat, what with all the protective gear a batsman can rely on. Akhtar has always courted controversy, whether it be suspect bowling action, intimidation, drug use and indesciplined approach to professional cricket. With all said and done, you couldn't ignore him. He always managed to stay in the limelight.

  • HR on September 27, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    @all those mentioning the 2003 World cuo match Have you guys forgotten the two consecutive deliveries that uprooted the stumps of both Dravid and tendulkar.

  • imran adam on September 27, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    nice article Mr Abbasi, how many matches Shoaib won for Pakistan? not more than 8-10 matches at the most. and look how many matches Dravid and Tendulkar won for India atleast a few hundred.Shoaib was a bowler with a suspect action,who should newer had played even first class cricket,regarding the fastest ever Thompson and Tyson were the fastest ever to play the game of Cricket and they had clean action.

  • Ash on September 27, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar has been smashed for numerous boundaries by Ganguly,Sehwag,Yuvraj,Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh also.Sachin is far much better than all of these batsmen.It's pointless to think that Sachin was scared of Shoaib.It's just a publicity stunt by Shoaib Akhtar to grab some attention.Also,performing in a few matches does not make anyone a champion.Shoaib Akhtar could have done much better if he knew how to control his head and not behave like a spoilt child.

  • vishy on September 27, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    AKTHAR IS SPOT ON WHEN HE SAYS LARA AND PONTING WERE BETTER FINISHERS THAN "GOD" AND "WALL". NO DISPUTE ON THAT SCORE.

  • Tamim on September 27, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    Well, thats the beauty of Shoaib. Setting the world on fire. Thats what he literally proved once again. The thing that make him different from any other is that the believe he gives to his fans that once he runs in he can win you match even if opposition has only 5 runs to get from 100 balls with 5 wickets in hand. He has some of the most destructive spells in cricket than anyone else in flat batting wickets of india or pakistan or srilanka against world class batting line ups. Well, his retirement from cricket is actually retirement of fast bowling from cricket as in these days there aint none who can terror top class batsman in flat batting wickets and wont be any in future as the world doesn't want to see the fight between bat and ball anymore and lauds making runs, more runs and more runs.

  • fakhar on September 27, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    farabi..i totally agree, and for me what is more important is winning matches for your team...sachin mostly bats for his own record..whereas shoaib has been a wicket taker and genuine fast bowler, it has always been proved that wicket taking bowlers help u win matches shoaib when played destroyed wickets and now when not playing is causing lots of discomfort to the opposition

  • ejaz on September 27, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    controversially yours already created lots of controversy.... shoaib vs entire indian media..we r with u shoaib

  • farabi on September 27, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    And to all the Indian supporters, my favorite player is Brian Lara, but even i'll not be blind enough to call him the greatest player ever. The era in which the likes of Vivian Richards played, then cricket was much fiercer, and there was balance between bat and ball because of the pitches. Sachin surely scored a lot of runs but most of them were on advantageous subcontinent or sharjah pitches, his record outside is not that great (like Australia/New Zealand/England). But Richards performed everywhere even in the subcontinent. How can Indian supporters be so blinded to actually call Sachin the greatest ever, discounting Viv Richards, Gary Sobers, Pollock, George Headley, Walter Hammond, and even Don Bradman. Please guys, he was probably the best of our generation (in my opinion surpassing Lara, only because of more consistency not batting ability) not of all time. Surely.

  • farabi on September 27, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    We know shoaib was an unstable personality. But you have to be fair. Injuries destroyed his career, and PCB did not help. I remember when Shoaib burst into scene before the 2000 world cup, and i remember seeing the Eden garden test live. I have not seen the like of those spells. He was a true fast bowler, ferocious, aggressive, and unplayable on a rather docile Eden garden pitch with vicious reverse swing and pace. I think he became inconsistent after 2003, but i hate it when journalists say he had infrequent brilliances, because it's a flat out lie, up to 2003, he displayed probably the fiercest fast bowling i have seen in my life, and i have not seen the like of those spells ever since. And we know how truthful Indian media is, completely exaggarating shoaib's description. Shoib respects sachin.

  • Zk on September 27, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    First of all i would like to state here that i am a huge admirer of sachin, but i find this dismissive and aggressive response towards shoaibs auto-biography rather misplaced, especially when most people have not read the book yet. It is pointless to argue in response to shoaibs assertion of sachin being afraid of him by reminding people of the sixes he hit off him for the simple reason that both players always had a top class encounter in which both had success at different times. It is also important to realize that shoaib is trying to say that he felt he had scared sachin with his pace on one particular occasion, which he mentions, and doesnt mean that his mere presence sent sachin shaking. One player fearing another is nothing unusual, and i would think that guys like viv richards or the fearsome WI bowling attack scared many a player in their time. The only thing i personally disagree with is his take on sachin or dravid not being the best of match winners or finishers.

  • Swapnil K Hasabnis on September 27, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    When a tiger walks in a street..the dogs bark to attract attention..but the tiger doesnt respond as it is below his dignity..

  • Saad Aftab on September 27, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    Hi, i'm a Pakistani.. First of all ... on the weight of sheer numbers alone, Sachin and R Dravid are legends ... how much of their runs came in winning causes (which was Shoaib's argument) is another story. Shoaib tends to be a loose cannon more often then not ... on the field and off. Sachin fans will argue Centurion 2003 and Shoaib fans will argue Kolkata 1999 ... but its a fact that no batsman, no matter how great, is ever comfortable against genuine pace ... and Shoaib consistently troubled the very best (Lara, Sachin, Kirsten) with raw speed alone even when he was getting hit all over. I think, feel free to correct me, that Shoaib said in his interview for the book that in 2004 series, Sachin walked to a catch behind where Shoaib felt he didnt nick the ball giving him the impression he was uncomfortable (scared) against him ... Draw your own conclusions :)

  • Asim Umar on September 27, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    well after all the controversies surrounding shoaib's book i did some research and saw the video of those 2 particular deliveries which shoaib mentioned in faisalabad test. sachin really never tried to come in line of those balls. 1st one went top of his stump and he just stood there never moved his bat. 2nd one hit him on the helmet again no movement of the feet or bat. he was liken frozen in the crease and as for match winner comments who dont know abt sachin's record of 100's in losing causes. Inzamam has scored 18 match winning 100's out of 25. sachin has 21 out of 51. check the percentage urself.

  • King2 on September 27, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    Shoib is not good enough to out the Dravid, If shoib bowls with 150+ then the Dravid defends it with 160+

  • Junaid on September 27, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Sachin is a great batsman probably the greatest one the world has seen for good thirty forty years and he was a match winner 8 or nine years earlier but now because of his age he can make match for you by making big centuries but he will consume more balls therefore you need players like dhoni, yuvraj and sehwag same is the case for dravid but they (sachin and dravid) are real match savers in test we all knows that test matches are won by bowlers :-)

  • Aniruddha Ghoshal on September 27, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Looks like people, including Shoaib, have forgotten the mauling by Sachin in the 2003 WC. But then Shoaib never had any good things to say even about Wasim Akram or Waqar Yunis, players who were quite a few leagues above him. So we all know how seriously we need to take Shoaib Akhtar

  • Azeem on September 27, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Sachin is a great player. He owes that to consistency and his longevity in terms of the extraordinary length of his career in todays day and age when the demands on cricketers are quite impractical. However does he really strike fear into the hearst and minds of bowlers when he comes out to bat? Im not too sure about that.

    Wasim Akram as great a player as he was was always known to have played politics. Remember the player revolts in the 90's.

  • Rohit on September 27, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    Sachin and Dravid are sacred to us Indians and there is a reason for that. Both have scored 10,000 plus runs in both primary forms of the game at averages of 55+ in tests and 40+ in ODIs with strike rates of 85+ for sachin and 70+ for Dravid. Sachin a little more than Dravid but i put them in the same class cuz what sachin dravid lacked in skill & ability, he made up for with his temperament and perseverence. By not reacting to Shoaib, both have underlined their classy behavior off the field as well. Shoaib is not a patch on these batsmen. He might have created a spell or two but he was nowhere in the class of Wasim and Waqar when it came to performance. Performance, consistent performance, is what separates greatness from talent. P.S. a point on their match-winnings, Sachin and Dravid individually won more international matches for their country than Shoaib would have in his entire first class career. Still, they wont comment on him and thats why they are sacred to us.

  • Deep on September 27, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    Shoaib is trying to make a buck instead of making a fool of himself. He will laugh all the way to the bank while people like you laugh at him. How much publicity is his autobiography getting now? Comments about WC 2003 from my fellow Indians are missing the point entirely, if you are that mad try not reading the book :-)

  • Raja Babu on September 27, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    The man just wants to sell his book. Enough said.

  • Ali M on September 27, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    @ Varun. Oh, I thought the one thing you were going to say was the 1999 Asian Championship Calcutta Test.

  • harshvardhan on September 27, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    Where's the objectivity kamran and akhtar ? if shoaib thinks lara,ponting,gilchrist,langer were the best he bowled then is it necessary for him to include sachin and dravid to demean them for cheap shots well I didn't expect anything better neither from any pakistanis except wasim not coz he works for star cricket or coaches kkr but after WC'03 he was the only one greeting every indian with smile and congratulating them neither waqar,shoaib infact yasir hameed was keeper and he abused when sachin got outWhere's the objectivity kamran and akhtar ? if shoaib thinks lara,ponting,gilchrist,langer were the best he bowled then is it necessary for him to include sachin and dravid to demean them for cheap shots well I didn't expect anything better neither from any pakistanis except wasim not coz he works for star cricket or coaches kkr but after WC'03 he was the only one greeting every indian with smile and congratulating them neither waqar,shoaib infact yasir hameed was keeper and he abused w

  • Sam on September 27, 2011, 0:21 GMT

    I'm surprised thing abt sachin/dravid getting this attention and no mention or debate about him openly admitting abt ball tampering or all other teams doing so..even Mr. Abbasi failed to mention this in his post. Regarding his debut and his team mates abusing him I think he just wants to portray that despite all this he succeded, but we feel he could've been lot better, if he had his mind in right place. As Akram pointed if you're 16, facing him and waqar, getting hit on chin while playing with grill less helmet and you are not scared then,then you are not going to be scared ever, may be uncomfortable against rising ball was the right phrase. He has raised some good issues in general instead this li'l remark is getting all attention.

  • Varun on September 26, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    I have only one thing to say. 2003 WC Semi-final. End of story.

  • Srinivas R on September 26, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    Iam a diehard Sachin Fan , but everyone is entitled to his opinion inlcuding Shoaib.Well written article Kamran. Its a shame the way some politicians are using this , you are insulting sachin by doing this. Are we indians by any chance becoming intolerable , am afraid so. Be graceful and remain quite guys..

  • Yasir Irfat on September 26, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    @Saud, Sorry to disagree. It is sad that you are supporting shoaib's stance. I never saw a batsmen even of McGrath calibre saying I dont want to bat against shoaib because I fear his bowling. A person who has not taken 200 Wkt in Tests almost claims that he is greatest bowler and his management and colleagues let him down. I feel sorry for Shoaib, a much promising career but living a accusatory real life.

  • Babazains on September 26, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    Another example of hothead who always believed that he was bigger then the game and the country he represented!!

  • suneel on September 26, 2011, 16:18 GMT

    one day i saw in wasim akrams interview he said that when in 2003 worldcup match between pakistan and india when sachin hit shoib for around 20 in his 1st over than shoib was not ready to bowl him in the next over he was scared of sachin,,,,,,,,what about that.......did shoib mention that in his biography

  • Asim on September 26, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    Can't wait for Afridi's autobiography....fun fun fun!!

  • afaik` on September 26, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Dear Mr Abbasi,

    in your article I could not help butt notice the irony - you seem to promote your sketchy summary of Shoaib's career, yet mock his personal recap of his career. I interpret this as you claiming to know him better than what he knows himself.

    PS! I understand the sensationalism in your article(I mean you are a journalist), so try to understand the sensationalism in Shoaib's autoB.

    Best afaik

  • Akbar Asghar on September 26, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    I'm really surprised to read your comment about his verbal communication. It has nothing to do with the ability of this man. He was capable, infact much more than he has achieved. His comments about Dravid and Sachin are quite apt, both of these batsman are by no stretch of imagination match winners. A match winner to me is one, who performs when needed, how many times Sachin or Dravid have done so? i wasn't expecting such an article from Kamran Abbasi. **Disinterested**

  • mk49 on September 26, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    I will miss Shoaib. He was exciting, fast and unpredictable. Terrific spells of terrifying pace. I doubt though that Sachin, Lara or Dravid were 'scared' of him - but Shoaib wants to stir it up, and so we should allow him this last hurrah.

  • Saikrishnan on September 26, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    He isn't a 10 year old kid to make a fool of himself. It's obvious that he wanted to bash Sachin for cheap publicity which will in turn result in more sales of his autobiography. I find it funny that it wasn't mentioned anywhere in this article. P.S I hate to make comparisons among great players but Sachin too has had a fair share of former cricketers calling him the best ever.

  • grizzle on September 26, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    Well said. I think this entire matter about what Akhtar thinks of Tendulkar and Dravid has been blown way out of proportion. The man is welcome to his own opinion, as much as anybody else. And before somebody points out that others who are currently lambasting Akhtar are simply airing their opinions, I am talking more of the hooligans in Mumbai and elsewhere that are causing the book launch and other events relating to the book to be cancelled: I find this to be way more despicable than anything Akhtar said.

  • P Satish on September 26, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    I fully agree with the article. Indian media should learn to tone it down. The hysteria is sickening to say the least. Trying to defend Tendulkar is a greater insult to Tendulkar and a favour to Shoaib. Let the madcap ramble on. This is not the first time and certainly won't be the last. Controversy sells. Ask Gibbs an Gilchrist.

  • Shiraz on September 26, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    I am an indian.. nobody need to be panic when he says that sachin scared him.. who knows..? you can watch their first battle in kolkatta test.. lot of time he dismissed him.. shoib have rights to say what he feel.. he will be the reall miss for cricket whatever controvrsies he have.. it is a colour to cricket when we see he is running to bawl...

  • Yogesh on September 26, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Firstly, a very good article Kamran. The last line packs a punch.

    It is fair enough to say that Sachin was uncomfortable against Shoaib during the 2006 series. Shoaib at least has pointed out that tennis elbow made Sachin vulnerable to pace. That was a sentiment echoed by many Sachin admirers too. But equating uncomfortable with scared is an Aktharesque exaggeration in my opinion but cannot deny him his right to opine. By refusing to respond, Sachin showed his dignity and by responding BCCI has lost some more of the little dignity they had !

    But more worrisome is the tendency by publishers to rely solely on controversies or a player's dislike of another to sell sports books. It is an acceptance that there is no worthy sporting insight in the book. I do not remember when a sporting book has been advertised based on its sporting insights. Probably, it is time we rather promote good cricketing autobiographies than spend time dissing the bad ones.

  • Akhtar Sahil on September 26, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    I would rather say that Shoaib must have Bio graphed himself afridily rather than dravidly...:-P

  • Mahboob on September 26, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    nothing new, the world knows, how he 'Shoaib' troubled the batsmen around the world, i have listen Ponting said once, that he never faced such a fast bowling in his life, he ha troubled Lara, Laxman, ganguly the most, Dravid & sachin as well. the problem was that he born in Pak. and was under the unskilled cricketing authorities, who dealt with him in a bad way, n didn't tried to understand his importance. Hats OFF to SHOAIB, you rocks, nothing is wrong with his bgraphy.

  • Bilal on September 26, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Completely agree with Saud... Shoaib on his day was so superior to his contemporaries that it seemed only a matter of time before he got a well set batsman out bowled... be it Sachin or Lara; the so called greats of our generation... I remember this one instance where he was bowling to Kallis in a test match... Kallis was on 50+ at that time... Shoaib pitched the ball well outside off and it bounced just short of length... Kallis came as much forward as he could, put his front pad in front of the ball and offered no shot... the ball bent towards him, kissed the top of his out-stretched pad and took off stump out of the ground... It was simply too good a ball for any batsman in any form... and Shoaib has produced many such balls... I think he is to Fast balling what Warne is to leg-spin... Yes, his career is not inspiring but my god, on his day, he could light the world on fire... I would take him over an anderson or steyn any day... (ok I may be a little biased there but still...)

  • Saud on September 26, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    I have seen the great Lara play Shoaib as if he could not see the ball. He was clearly scared. If Shoaib can make Lara uncomfortable Sachin is in the same league. Shoaib was the fastest the world has seen, if someone was scared of him it is nothing to be ashamed of.

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  • Saud on September 26, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    I have seen the great Lara play Shoaib as if he could not see the ball. He was clearly scared. If Shoaib can make Lara uncomfortable Sachin is in the same league. Shoaib was the fastest the world has seen, if someone was scared of him it is nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Bilal on September 26, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Completely agree with Saud... Shoaib on his day was so superior to his contemporaries that it seemed only a matter of time before he got a well set batsman out bowled... be it Sachin or Lara; the so called greats of our generation... I remember this one instance where he was bowling to Kallis in a test match... Kallis was on 50+ at that time... Shoaib pitched the ball well outside off and it bounced just short of length... Kallis came as much forward as he could, put his front pad in front of the ball and offered no shot... the ball bent towards him, kissed the top of his out-stretched pad and took off stump out of the ground... It was simply too good a ball for any batsman in any form... and Shoaib has produced many such balls... I think he is to Fast balling what Warne is to leg-spin... Yes, his career is not inspiring but my god, on his day, he could light the world on fire... I would take him over an anderson or steyn any day... (ok I may be a little biased there but still...)

  • Mahboob on September 26, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    nothing new, the world knows, how he 'Shoaib' troubled the batsmen around the world, i have listen Ponting said once, that he never faced such a fast bowling in his life, he ha troubled Lara, Laxman, ganguly the most, Dravid & sachin as well. the problem was that he born in Pak. and was under the unskilled cricketing authorities, who dealt with him in a bad way, n didn't tried to understand his importance. Hats OFF to SHOAIB, you rocks, nothing is wrong with his bgraphy.

  • Akhtar Sahil on September 26, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    I would rather say that Shoaib must have Bio graphed himself afridily rather than dravidly...:-P

  • Yogesh on September 26, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Firstly, a very good article Kamran. The last line packs a punch.

    It is fair enough to say that Sachin was uncomfortable against Shoaib during the 2006 series. Shoaib at least has pointed out that tennis elbow made Sachin vulnerable to pace. That was a sentiment echoed by many Sachin admirers too. But equating uncomfortable with scared is an Aktharesque exaggeration in my opinion but cannot deny him his right to opine. By refusing to respond, Sachin showed his dignity and by responding BCCI has lost some more of the little dignity they had !

    But more worrisome is the tendency by publishers to rely solely on controversies or a player's dislike of another to sell sports books. It is an acceptance that there is no worthy sporting insight in the book. I do not remember when a sporting book has been advertised based on its sporting insights. Probably, it is time we rather promote good cricketing autobiographies than spend time dissing the bad ones.

  • Shiraz on September 26, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    I am an indian.. nobody need to be panic when he says that sachin scared him.. who knows..? you can watch their first battle in kolkatta test.. lot of time he dismissed him.. shoib have rights to say what he feel.. he will be the reall miss for cricket whatever controvrsies he have.. it is a colour to cricket when we see he is running to bawl...

  • P Satish on September 26, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    I fully agree with the article. Indian media should learn to tone it down. The hysteria is sickening to say the least. Trying to defend Tendulkar is a greater insult to Tendulkar and a favour to Shoaib. Let the madcap ramble on. This is not the first time and certainly won't be the last. Controversy sells. Ask Gibbs an Gilchrist.

  • grizzle on September 26, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    Well said. I think this entire matter about what Akhtar thinks of Tendulkar and Dravid has been blown way out of proportion. The man is welcome to his own opinion, as much as anybody else. And before somebody points out that others who are currently lambasting Akhtar are simply airing their opinions, I am talking more of the hooligans in Mumbai and elsewhere that are causing the book launch and other events relating to the book to be cancelled: I find this to be way more despicable than anything Akhtar said.

  • Saikrishnan on September 26, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    He isn't a 10 year old kid to make a fool of himself. It's obvious that he wanted to bash Sachin for cheap publicity which will in turn result in more sales of his autobiography. I find it funny that it wasn't mentioned anywhere in this article. P.S I hate to make comparisons among great players but Sachin too has had a fair share of former cricketers calling him the best ever.

  • mk49 on September 26, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    I will miss Shoaib. He was exciting, fast and unpredictable. Terrific spells of terrifying pace. I doubt though that Sachin, Lara or Dravid were 'scared' of him - but Shoaib wants to stir it up, and so we should allow him this last hurrah.