‘I developed a dependence on cocaine’, Wasim Akram makes a shocking revelation | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan captain and legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram has revealed that he was addicted to cocaine after the end of his playing career but quit after the death of his first wife.
The 1992 World Cup winner, who took more than 900 international wickets before retiring in 2003, began using cocaine while working as a television pundit around the world.
In an interview with the Times, the 56-year-old revealed that he mentioned the addiction in his new autobiography.
“The culture of fame in South Asia is all consuming, seductive and corrupting. You can go to 10 parties a night, and some do. And it took its toll on me,” Akram was quoted as saying.
The former left-arm pacer also mentioned the selfless act of his first wife Huma, who died suddenly in 2009 of a rare fungal infection.
“Huma’s last selfless, unconscious act was to cure me of my drug problem. That way of life was over, and I’ve never looked back,” he said.
After making his international debut in 1984, Wasim played 104 Tests and 356 ODIs for Pakistan and won the 1992 World Cup. He captained Pakistan in 25 Tests and 109 ODIs between 1993 and 2000 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers of all time.
According to Akram, he “developed an addiction to cocaine” while away from Huma and their two sons, who lived in Manchester.
“It started innocently enough when I was offered a line at a party in England; my use gradually became more serious, to the point where I felt I needed it to function,” the former cricketer further revealed.
“Huma, I know, was often lonely at this time, she spoke of her desire to move to Karachi, to be closer to her parents and siblings. I was reluctant. Why? Partly because I liked to going to Karachi on my own, pretending it was work when it was really about partying, often for days on end,” he added.
The legendary quick sought help after his late wife discovered his drug use, but said he had a bad experience in a rehabilitation facility in Lahore and relapsed into the habit during the 2009 Champions Trophy, where he was a pundit worked.
Akram said the drugs were “a substitute for the adrenaline rush of competition, which I missed a lot”, but Huma’s death shortly after that tournament prompted him to quit. He has since remarried and has a young daughter with his second wife.
The former Pakistan cricketer also addressed allegations of match-fixing during his career and again denied any involvement in corruption.
In 2000, Pakistan players Saleem Malik and Ata-ur-Rehman was suspended for match-fixing. A report on the scandal by Justice Malik Qayyum Wasim found not guilty of match-fixing, but did recommend that he be fined and not allowed to lead Pakistan because he refused to cooperate and “cannot be said to be beyond suspicion”.
The report said “there is evidence to question his integrity”, but Wasim said he had not read it before writing his book.
“I knew I was innocent. Everything is he said, she said, I heard from someone else, Wasim sent a message through someone else. I mean it doesn’t even sound right,” he said.
“It’s embarrassing because my kids have grown up and they’re asking questions,” he added.


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