Lahore: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has backed the claims made by former all-rounder Shahid Afridi, in his autobiography ‘Game Changer’. While speaking during a show on a local sports channel, Akhtar said that he had also received harsh treatment from senior cricketers during his playing days.
“I think Shahid Afridi has written less in his book about the harsh treatment he received from senior players during his playing days. I witnessed some of it with my own eyes and totally agree with him,” said Akhtar.
The swashbuckling all-rounder had claimed in his autobiography that the former coach of Pakistan team, Javed Miandad, did not let him participate in the batting practice session before the Chennai Test against India in 1999.
“The tussle had started even before the series kicked off. Miandad had developed a strong opinion against me…in fact, the day before I went to bat, Miandad didn’t even give me any net practice. So I had to practice on a stringed ball, alone, away from my teammates,” Afridi wrote in his book.
Afridi also said that Miandad forced him to praise him during the presentation ceremony, which led to the all-rounder losing respect for the batting legend.
“That day I lost all my respect for Javed Miandad, supposedly one of the greats of the game but in reality, a small man,” he said.
Akhtar also revealed that the same bunch of players also asked him for forgiveness and admitted their mistake, several years after the incident had happened.
“Later down the years, ten of these senior players asked us for forgiveness, before leaving for Umrah, for the way they treated us,” he said. “I told them that there is little point in such an apology because they had taken undue advantage, when in a position of strength, but I had forgiven them earlier as well and does not mind doing it now as well.”
Akhtar, who was the fastest bowler of his time, also said that he was close to being beaten with a bat by some of the players he played with, in the past.
“Once during a tour of Australia, four players approached with the intention of hitting me with a bat,” he further revealed.