Cricket came to a halt after the entire world was seized by the novel coronavirus, which has claimed nearly half a million lives so far.
Cricketers across the world have been passing an idle time. Former Pakistani cricketer Aaqib Javed, in this time of the pandemic, has come up with a number of explosive remarks on match fixing in recent times.
The fast bowler also opened up about the matter to Prothom Alo in an exclusive Whatsapp interview.
He said he and his then teammate Wasim Akram were never on the same page. He also revealed that another of his teammates, Aamir Sohail, believed Imran Khan might be the reason for not winning any World Cup after their famous triumph in 1992.
Aaqib was asked about the matter following a recent comment made by Aamir Sohail. Amir said, “Wasim Akram’s best performance was not to let Pakistan win any World Cup after 1992.”
Aaqib rejecting the comment said, "Aamir might have said this recalling several incidents of match fixing throughout the nineties. What Aamir indicated was that Imran Khan was responsible for Pakistan’s poor performance after 1992. He believes, Imran Khan didn’t want another World Cup winning captain as it might have outshone his image and hindered his path to be the future prime minister of the country.”
Aaqib Javed, however, believes winning a World Cup requires luck, too. “Even having world class players in the team, South Africa have never won the World Cup. They could never get rid of the 'choker' tag,” he said.
The former cricketer has always been very vocal against match-fixing that ruined his career as a cricketer at the age of 28.
“I presented my statements during the hearing of Justice Qayum Commission against few players of our team and later, I had to quit. Yes, it was a bit early at the age of 28. But I am still fighting and still believing that this is the one role that somebody has to play,” the bowler told Prothom Alo.
Asked about his relation with Wasim Akram and Waqar Yunus, Aaqib said he was never on the same page with Wasim Akram. It was bittersweet, he said.
“My relation with Waqar was professional,” he added.
There were times when Aaqib had to play in Wasim Akram and Waqar Yunus’s shadow. He could have been the first choice, had he played for any other team in the world. The cricketer had no remorse for that.
“I really enjoyed that era because, I believed and chose a role for myself which was really important. Even at times Waqar and Wasim couldn’t perform well. I used to bowl well against all odds. If one doesn’t stay committed, it’s really difficult for any bowler to play for a longer period,” Aaqib observed.
*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla online, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat