I wanted to be known, recognised: Akhtar
After kicking the hornet's nest with sensational claims in his autobiography 'Controversially Yours', former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar didn't shy away from raising a new controversy when he said that 'it is beyond his dignity to respond to Sachin's snub.'
In an interview with NewsX, the pacer took on Pakistan Cricket Board and Wasim Akram once again. He also clarified why Tendulkar was scared of him during the Faisalabad Test.
"Tendulkar was suffering from tennis elbow during that time and was having difficulty holding his bat (pulling), so we decided to target his head and get him out. We wanted to scare him off with barrage of bouncers. And I felt - that particular day - Sachin was scared, he was uncomfortable against me," Akhtar said.
Shoaib also maintained his stand that Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were not match-winners - atleast when he was around.
The speedster lashed out at PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, calling him a mad man. The pacer said "Ijaz Butt handled the match-fixing issue very badly, he just can't think straight. He has made Pakistan cricket a joke."
Following criticism of Akhtar's remarks, Butt expressed concern that cricket ties between both boards could be strained. However, BCCI re-assured the PCB tat Akhtar's jibe will not affect the renewal of Pakistan-India cricket ties.
On Wasim Akram, the pace bowler said it was not him but others in the team who did not want to play under him. "Though I respected Akram as a bowler, he was abusive and had bad attitude," Akhtar added.
Akram earlier said that no one but the 'Rawalpindi Express' himself was responsible for the setbacks in his career. "I know, Shoaib knows and the entire world knows that he himself is responsible for destroying his career. Nobody helped him (in destroying his career)."
Union minister and Mumbai Cricket Association president Vilasrao Deshmukh said that Shoaib Akhtar should apologise to Sachin Tendulkar for his controversial claims.
A promotional event of Akhtar's book launch scheduled to be held today in Mumbai was called off because of the adverse reaction to his unflattering remarks against top Indian players in his tell-all autobiography. Bangalore has also said no to his book launch, which was supposed to take place on Tuesday.