The ‘Sultan of Swing’ Wasim Akram was well-known back in the golden days of Pakistani cricket. Known to be one of the best cricketers in the world, Akram made a shocking reveal about life after retirement.
In his autobiography Sultan: A Memoir he admits that he became addicted to cocaine after he announced his retirement from international cricket.
Moreover, he shared that he began using cocaine as “a substitute for the adrenaline rush of competition” of playing cricket.
He hung up his boots in May 2003 and continued supporting his nation’s cricket team as a coach and commentator.
“I liked to indulge myself; I liked to party. The culture of fame in south Asia is all-consuming, seductive, and corrupting. You can go to ten parties a night, and some do. And it took its toll on me. My devices turned into vices. Worst of all, I developed a cocaine dependence. 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,” as per extracts from his autobiography, published in an interview.
“It made me agitated. It caused me to be deceitful. I know Huma was often lonely during this time… she talked of wanting to move to Karachi to be closer to her parents and siblings. I was hesitant. Why? Partly because I like coming to Karachi on my own and pretending it was working when it was really about partying for days on end.
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“Try as I might, part of me was still smouldering inside about the indignity of what I’d been put through. My pride was hurt, and the lure of my lifestyle remained. I briefly contemplated divorce. I settled for heading to the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy were, out from Huma’s daily scrutiny, I started using again,” he added.
After Huma died in October 2009 from a rare fungal condition called mucormycosis, Akram noticed that his addiction had disappeared. “Huma’s last selfless, unconscious act was curing me of my drug problem. That way of life was over, and I have never looked back.”
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