I have always refused to take drugs to bowl fast: Shoaib Akhtar

I have always refused to take drugs to bowl fast: Shoaib Akhtar

Akhtar holds the record for the fastest delivery bowled in international cricket.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Facebook)

Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has revealed that on a number of instances, he had been directed to take drugs in order to bowl at speeds in excess of 100 kph. However, the Rawalpindi Express said that he didn’t resort to artificial substances to generate venomous speeds. During his career, Shoaib was among the fastest bowlers alongside Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, etc.

Shoaib, even after almost a decade since he last played international cricket, holds the record for the fastest delivery bowled in international cricket. Back in the 2003 World Cup against England, he notched a speed of 161.3 kph while bowling a maiden over to Nick Knight. He also smashed a number of batsmen on the helmets with bouncers and rattled woodworks with yorkers.

Shoaib Akhtar opens up

“When I started playing cricket, I was told you can’t bowl fast and to achieve good speed of 100 kmph I will have to use drugs. But I have always refused to do so,” Akhtar was quoted as saying while addressing the Anti-Narcotics Forces’ (ANF) annual drug burning ceremony.

After being invited as the guest of honour, Akhtar was delighted. He uploaded a few photographs from the event and wrote, “It was my honour being the speaker/guest of honour at the symbolic drug burning ceremony by Anti-Narcotics Force of Pakistan.

“ANF is making efforts to the best of its capacity & resources for a drug-free Pakistan. Play sports, work out & do healthy activities for a bright future.”

Shoaib also admitted that Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir got carried away after being in ‘bad company’. Back in 2010, Amir was involved in a spot-fixing scandal along with then skipper Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif.

“Similarly, Pakistani pacer Mohammad Amir was also cautioned before the tour of England but he was taken away by bad company,” he added, as quoted by Cricket Pakistan. Even as Amir is playing at the highest level, Asif and Butt’s cricket career virtually came to a close after the incident.

It’s pertinent to note that Amir hasn’t been included for Pakistan’s upcoming tour of New Zealand. He made his comeback in the 2016 Asia Cup in Bangladesh and has played all three formats ever since.