Shoaib Akhtar praises India only to make money, says Virender Sehwag

Sehwag and Akhtar
Both Sehwag and Akhtar are known to be candid personalities
Ram Kumar

Whether decimating bowling attacks with consummate ease or issuing audacious statements off the field, Virender Sehwag clear enjoys everything he does. In an interview with Deccan Chronicle, the retired stalwart indulged himself in some banter against Shoaib Akhtar.

Also read: Arshad Khan: Former Pakistan player, spotted driving taxi in Australia

Akhtar who is often seen talking up the Indian team during his commentary stints with Star, was ridiculed by Sehwag as praising his nemesis only for business reasons. The 37-year old was at the launch of a brand new mobile streaming service called Viu.

Sehwag jested, “Shoaib Akhtar became a really good friend because he wanted to establish business in India. That’s why he had to talk good about India so that he could get paid by doing commentary. Whenever you see Akhtar today, you’ll notice him praising India so much, nobody would even believe him praising India so much in his life.”

Claiming that the fastest bowler in his prime did not show any mercy on the field, the Delhi dasher felt, “During my time when he used to bowl to me, there was no love lost. Money can do everything.”

The swashbuckling batsman will feature alongside former teammate Zaheer Khan in ‘What the duck’, a celebrity chat show with humorist Vikram Sathaye. He led Gemini Arabians to victory in the recently held Masters Champions League in UAE.

Rana Naved ul Hasan, another Pakistani bowler was part of the triumphant team in the MCL. He had stated that Sehwag was the best captain that he played under, surpassing country-man Inzamam ul Haq.

Sehwag's riposte was hilarious. He affirmed, "Yes, definitely, because now he too is in search of maybe a job in a news channel in India. If Star Sports is listening then they too can call him to give Sehwag some company and have another Pakistani commentator.”

Taking a potshot at veteran Pakistani cricketers, he continued, “Nowadays, Pakistani people such as Mohammad Yousuf, Saqlain Mushtaq or Rana, who work in Pakistan TV channels, all want to come to India because they know India is a big market and obviously if you get Rs 1 lakh over here, then its Rs 2 lakh in Pakistan.”

Notwithstanding anything, Virender also played a prank on himself. He revealed, “When you have children they tease you to such levels that you can’t even expect. Today also when they watch television, they tell me, ‘Papa, agar aap khel rahe tho aap out ho jaate, tho hamara kya hota, hamare dost tho haemin maar ke ate’ (Papa, if you were playing today and if you were out then our friends would hammer us).

Thankfully, he had retired some time back. “Imagine if I was playing and got out, how much would I have to listen? Luckily now I have left cricket and my children too have grown older and mature.”

Sehwag also mentioned that he did not practice much meditation during his heydays. Cheekily, dragging in another team-mate Rahul Dravid, he affirmed, “I don’t think it’s needed. My funda is to play the ball you just need 30 seconds or 20 seconds. If you can meditate for that time then it’s very good. Whenever I tried to meditate, be it for 20, 30 or 50 seconds, I just couldn’t do it so that’s why I didn’t even try to mediate.”

He added, “I though whatever I am doing that’s fine. Singing songs, blowing whistles (while batting), in that way I am getting to score runs and more than Dravid so what’s the problem.”

It will be interesting to see what the iconic Pakistani pacer comes up with in his response.

Looking forward for Shikhar Dhawan's captaincy! - Yuvraj Singh in an exclusive Interview with SK

Edited by Staff Editor
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