Thursday Mar 04, 2021
KARACHI: Former cricketer and commentator Shoaib Akhtar said Thursday he was "really, really angry" after the Pakistan Super League 2021 (PSL 2021) was postponed earlier in the day due to players testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
Known for lashing out at almost everything, Akhtar — who was nicknamed the Rawalpindi Express for his sheer pace — lambasted the Pakistani cricket authorities in his latest rant for what he claimed was their lack of experience. "Disturbed & disheartened by PSL postponement," he wrote.
"These people couldn't maintain a bio-secure bubble for such a high profile tournament. Sad."
"Those who never organised tape-ball cricket are organising PSL! Those who don't even know how to write prescriptions — can you believe it? — this has happened with me, with the PCB doctors," he said.
Visibly annoyed, the veteran Pakistani cricketer commented on how the image of the sport was dented across the globe. "So again I'm really, really angry that the PSL brand came to a stop and was ruined and its reputation damaged.
"What message are we sending to the world?" he asked.
Shoaib Akhtar went on to demand a probe into the matter, saying it needed "to be looked at at the highest level of the government".
"So I want a really, really highly qualified — with honourable people — on the investigation [and] not through the board," he said, referring to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The commentator has in the past too made video statements, expressing his indignation and displeasure over various issues related to Pakistani cricket.
He last made headlines when he had lashed out at the PCB for releasing what he termed was "the worst song" in "the history of the PSL".
"If the 10 worst songs of the PSL are compiled, this song will be number one," he said, referring to "Groove Mera," the 2021 anthem sung by veteran singer Naseebo Lal, 25-year-old Aima Baig, and rapper duo Young Stunners. "Do you have any shame?"
The former pacer had mocked the PSL 2021 anthem by saying his children stopped talking to him ever since he played it for them. "My kids are scared of this song. When they don't sleep, I tell them I'll play it for them. That immediately scares them," he said.
Akhtar went as far as to say even the singers who sang the anthem "did not know the meaning of the word groove".
"Neither did I get the lyrics nor the song. What does groove mean? What is groove," he asked, before adding that he would "file a serious case against the PCB through his YouTube videos" for making such an awful song.
The buffed-up, right-arm fast bowler, who apparently dislikes and lashes out at multiple things from time to time, also attacked Young Stunners over their fashionable, vibrant suits in the PSL 2021 anthem's video.
"What have you done? You hid the clothes of our Chief Selector Mohammad Waseem and dressed the rappers in them," he said.
Prior to that, Shoaib Akhtar had slammed the PCB's legal department for being "rotten to the core" in an incredible tirade in the aftermath of the Umar Akmal ban.
"The board has given cover to, saved, and rehabilitated match-fixers, which has developed this mindset that 'okay I will serve my six-month or two years ban but will be back again like Sharjeel Khan'," Akhtar said.
The practice helped entrench the match-fixing menace into the system, he had stated, calling for the criminalisation of corrupt elements thorough the Parliament.
Akhtar had also ripped apart PCB's legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi, whom he described as an "inept person" for being hard on Akmal but not being able to "read a basic contract".
"Tafazzul Rizvi, in particular, is one such individual," he had said. "He has deep connections and has been with the board for 10-15 years.
"What angered me the most was when he dragged Shahid Afridi in courts. I believe that stars are born and must be respected, and these lawyers use our high-profile cases to earn fame.
"He is an idiot of the highest order and has lost cases against me, Afridi, doping case ... everything. What he does is that he pits PCB against its players and profits off of their legal wrangles.
In response, Rizvi, the adviser, had filed a Rs10-million defamation suit against Akhtar, saying fast bowler's remarks "affected my goodwill".
"He said false things about me on social media. His remarks were seen and heard abroad as well. Therefore, I decided to take legal action against him," the adviser vowed, warning of taking action against Akhtar outside of Pakistan too.
Later, the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing also reportedly summoned the fast-bowling great but his team denied receiving any notice.
"My client has not received any notice from the FIA," his lawyer, Abuzar Salman Niazi, had told Geo News. "If a notice is received, we will respond with a reasonable answer."