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 following 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 expert around the world.
In an interview with the Times, the 56-year old revealed that he has mentioned about the addiction in his new autobiography titled – Sultan: A Memoir.
He began using cocaine after his retirement. “The culture of fame in South Asia is all-consuming, seductive and corrupting.” According to Akram, he “developed a dependence on cocaine” while he was travelling away from Huma and their two sons, who were living in Manchester.
“It started innocuously enough when I was offered a line at a party in England; my use grew steadily more serious, to the point that I felt I needed it to function,” the former cricketer further revealed.
“Huma, I know, was often lonely at this time, she would talk of her desire to move to Karachi, to be nearer her parents and siblings. I was reluctant. Why? Partly because I liked going to Karachi on my own, pretending it was work when it was actually about partying, often for days at a time,” he added.
The popular cricketer sought help after his late wife discovered his drug use, but said he had a bad experience in a rehab facility in Lahore and fell back into the habit. Akram said the drugs were “a substitute for the adrenaline rush of competition, which I sorely missed.” But Huma’s death shortly after that tournament spurred him to quit.
Wasim further said that he was anxious about his book given that he’s had a stressful life and wasn’t sure if he wanted to revisit his past, but he wanted to put out his side of the story for his kids. Wasim has two sons, aged 21 and 25 from Huma; and a 7-year-old daughter from his second wife, an Australian social worker called Shaniera.
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