In a recent interview with a news channel, Shoaib Akhtar stated that he would even be ready to eat grass in order to increase the budget of the Pakistan Army, if required.
"If Allah ever gives me the authority, I will eat grass myself but I will increase the budget of the army," Shoaib Akhtar said.
The former pacer emphasized that civilians should go hand in hand with the armed forces of the country and if they aren't on the same page, the loss will only be theirs.
"I will ask my army chief to sit with me and make decisions. If the budget is 20 percent, I will make it 60 percent. If we insult each other, the loss is ours only," Shoaib Akhtar remarked.
Furthermore, Shoaib Akhtar made a startling revelation that he had turned down a £175,000 County cricket contract so that he could fight in the Kargil War.
“I had a £175,000 County contract with Nottingham. Then in 2002, I had another big contract. I left both when Kargil happened,” Shoaib Akhtar added.
I called up my friends in Kashmir and told them I am ready to fight: Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar sees himself as a person who was willing to sacrifice his life for his nation. He recalled how the counties were left surprised when he informed them of his decision.
“I stood on the outskirts of Lahore. A general asked me what I’m doing there. I said a war is about to start and we’ll die together. I left county [cricket] twice like this and the counties were shocked. I wasn’t concerned about that. I called up my friends in Kashmir and told them I am ready to fight."
Shoaib Akhtar has an age-old relationship with the Pakistan Army. In his biography 'Controversially Yours', Shoaib Akhtar shed light on the fact that he used to play cricket with army officers inside their military headquarters in Rawalpindi.
He also said that many of those officers rose to ranks of Generals and he enjoyed a good relationship with them throughout his career.
Thus, Shoaib Akhtar's statement, where he quipped that he knew what had happened during the February standoff, doesn't come as a surprise.Published 07 Aug 2020, 19:07 IST