Shoaib Akhtar responds to Virender Sehwag's 'chucking' comments Photograph:( AFP )
Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar finally broke his silence and reacted to Virender Sehwag's recent 'chucking' allegation. Here's what he said:
Former Indian opener-turned-commentator Virender Sehwag recently made heads turn with his remark on Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar. While Akhtar was a force to reckon with and was an integral part of Pakistan's pace attack during his playing days, his international career was marred with several controversies, including his bowling action.
In this regard, Sehwag made a big claim that Akhtar used to jerk his elbow while bowling. "Shoaib knows he used to jerk his elbow; he knew he was chucking too. Why would ICC ban him otherwise?. Brett Lee's hand came down straight, so it was easy to pick the ball. But with Shoaib, you could never guess where the hand and the ball will come from,” Sehwag had told Sports 18.
While many waited for Akhtar's response following Sehwag's comment, the former speedster -- who ended with 444 international scalps -- has now opened up on the ex-Indian opener's recent allegations. "I would request Sehwag to not pass such comments. If Sehwag knows more than ICC, he is entitled to his opinion. My statement to Sehwag will be a bit different. I feel he was one of the greatest match-winners India has ever produced. He was a team man and among the greatest openers to have ever played for India."
“At the moment, I am at that stage and age where I'm careful while dishing out my opinions. I don't want to pass a comment or insult any player who has played on the national level. I haven't seen the interview. Sehwag is a close friend but I don't know if he has commented jokingly or if he is being serious,” Akhtar told Sportskeeda.
"Cricketers should make sure their statements don't disturb the harmony between India and Pakistan. If there's a scope for improvement in relations between the two countries, I should be able to play that bridge. I request Sehwag to be mindful while making such statements in the age of social media,” Akhtar added.
Akhtar and Sehwag shared a great rivalry during their playing days. The duo have remained friends off the field as well but it will be interesting to see if shots continue to be fired from both ends after the 'chucking' remark.
At present, Akhtar continues to remain vocal on various aspects of the gentlemen's game whereas Sehwag has kept himself busy as a cricket expert during the ongoing IPL 2022 edition.