2020 was tough and we can’t wait for the year to end. However, in what has been a terrible year with pandemic and all things that have gone wrong, Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has given us some chuckles.
On Sunday, Pakistani cricketer-turned-Youtuber Shoaib Akhtar went on a deranged rant against the International Cricket Board (ICC) after none of the Pakistani players featured in the in any of the ICC teams of the decade, be it for tests, T20s or ODIs.
“ICC has declared T20 team of the decade but it has forgotten that Pakistan is also a member of the ICC. They did not even think that Babar Azam could have made into the list as he is the No. 1 T20 player. They haven’t put any Pakistani in their squad. Thanks but we do not need you. This is because you have announced the team for IPL (Indian Premier League) and not world cricket,” Shoaib Akthar pointed at an ‘unseen’ hand of the Board of Cricket Control in India.
He claimed, “Only Allah can save ICC…They have destroyed the cricket in the world. There is no proper cricketer or a fast bowler… If ICC wanted to destroy cricket like this and only earn money, they should have been open about this. At least we would have known that they are only interested in sponsorships and TV rights.” Shoaib Akthar went on to blame the International cricket board for letting world-class cricketers go away by commercialising the sport, even though it is hard to fathom that why such a thing would hurt the interests of the current or retired players.
Cannot push people, say mean things, Shoaib Akhtar blames ICC
“You lack the courage to stand up to India. And you are only interested in money,” he hinted at how India is allegedly exerting its financial influence to control the International Cricket Board. Shoaib Akhtar then accused the ICC of discouraging unsportsmanlike behaviour by making the rules stringent. “Now, you cannot push anyone or even say mean things,” he lamented. The Pakistani pacer, who was banned for taking performance-enhancing drugs, claimed in a narcissistic tone, “There is no bigger showdown than Sachin Vs Shoaib.”
Shoaib Akhtar hopeful to make ICC reconsider their decision
Assuming that it was the role of the ICC and not the national cricket boards to produce world-class cricketers, he cried, “They do not produce cricketers like this anymore.” He added, “And over the top, you announce teams with no Pakistani cricketers in them. Is there any bigger player than Babar Azam in T20s? You compare his average with that of Virat Kohli and you will know.”
Under the false impression that ICC will revisit its decision after his Youtube video, Shoaib Akhtar said, “I hope ICC will introspect on its decision after seeing this video and realise that they were asked to announce the T20 team of the decade and not the team for IPL… I don’t have hopes from you but let us see.”
Pakistanis cry as Indian players bag ICC awards
On Monday, the International Cricket Board (ICC) announced the awards of the decade, with the Indian cricket players bagging 3 awards and featuring in teams of the decade across formats but Pakistani cricket team getting
Indian captain Virat Kohli, who scored 94 fifties, 66 centuries and a whopping 20,396 international runs during the decade, was awarded the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade. Kohli also scored 10,000+ runs in the ODI format at an average of 61.83 during the same period. He has also 39 centuries, and 48 fifties to his name. As such, he was awarded the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade.
At the same time, former Indian captain MS Dhoni was awarded the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade for his sportsmanship when he recalled English batsman Ian Bell back to the pitch, after he was given a run-out in the Nottingham Test of 2011. While India has bagged 3 awards, Pakistan cricket team had no luck working its favour. As such, many started questioning the integrity of the International cricket council instead of introspecting about their poor performance across formats. One user wrote, “ICC is now Indian cricket council” while insinuating an ‘unseen’ BCCI hand in determining the results.