'I have passed that stage in my life where I have to worry about people' - Wasim Akram opens up on match-fixing tag

Akram remains the leading wicket-taker for his country in the longest format of the game, with 414 scalps to his name in 104 outings.

Wasim Akram
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Wasim Akram. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Chaitanya Prakash
CHAITANYA PRAKASH

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Former Pakistani fast bowler and one of the greatest left-arm pacers of his generation, Wasim Akram, has revealed the backlash he faces in Pakistan for his alleged involvement in match-fixing during his playing career. Akram stated that the current generation of people in his country still refers to him as a 'match-fixer'.

Wasim Akram, in his latest interview with Channel Nine's Wide World of Sports, revealed the backlash he faces in his home country despite the love he gets in countries like Australia, England, West Indies, and India. Akram feels that the 'social media generation' puts the label of 'match fixer' without knowing the whole truth.

"In Australia, England, West Indies, and India, when they talk about the World XI, when they talk about the best bowler in the world, my name pops up but in Pakistan, this generation, this social media generation, they are the one who comes down, every comment they send, they say, 'oh, he is a match fixer', not knowing what it was. I have passed that stage in my life where I have to worry about people," Akram said in his interview.

Wasim Akram guided Pakistan to their maiden WC title in 1992

The Pakistani great was surrounded by controversy in 1996 after he was rumored to be trying to fix Pakistan's match against New Zealand in Christchurch. His late withdrawal from the 1996 World Cup quarter-final clash against India also came under scrutiny after Pakistan lost to their arch-rivals.

The former Pakistani cricketer remains the leading wicket-taker for his country in the longest format of the game, with 414 scalps to his name in 104 outings. While his 502 wickets in ODI cricket propelled him to legendary status, it was his phenomenal performance in the 1992 final against England that cemented his legacy.

Akram chipped with a belligerent 18-ball 33 in the first innings before guiding Pakistan to their maiden WC trophy with a glittering spell of fast bowling that turned the tide for the Men in Green at the iconic MCG. He was named the player of the match on a historic night for the Asian Giants. He even led his side to the 1999 World Cup final to further enhance his reputation as one of the greatest Pakistani cricketers of all time.