Former Pakistan captain and bowling legend, Wasim Akram opened up on his cocaine addiction in his autobiography — Sultan A Memoir. The former left-arm seamer has been promoting his book, and in a recent interview with the Grade Cricketers’ Podcast, Akram has revealed that he was kept in a rehab in Pakistan for two-and-a-half months against his will. He also said that keeping someone against their will is “illegal in the world, but not in Pakistan”.
Talking about how he eventually became addicted to cocaine, Akram said: “In England, somebody at a party said ‘you wanna try it?’ I was retired, I said ‘yeah’. Then one line became a gram. I came back to Pakistan. Nobody knew what it was but it was available. I realised, I couldn’t function without it, which means I couldn’t socialise without it. It got worse and worse. My kids were young. I was hurting my late wife a lot. We would have arguments. She said I need help.”
“She said there’s a rehab, you can go there. I said alright I will go there for a month but they kept me there for two and a half months against my will. Apparently, that is illegal in the world but not in Pakistan. That didn’t help me. When I came out, a rebellion came into me. It’s my money, I stayed in that horrible place against my will,” he stated further.
Further talking about his rehab experience, Akram said: “In western movies, even in Australia you see rehabs have lovely big lawns, people give lectures, you go to gym. But I went to a place (in Pakistan) with a corridor and eight rooms, that’s it. It was very very tough. It was a horrible time.”
“Then a tragedy happened, my wife passed away. I knew I was on the wrong path, I wanted to get out of it. I had two young boys. In Western culture, a dad is involved fifty-fifty (with the mother). You wake up in the morning, drop your child to the school, pick them up, and change clothes. In our culture, as a dad, we never do that. It’s the wife’s turn. Our job is to go out and raise funds. I was lost for two years. I never knew where I had to buy clothes for them.
“I didn’t know what they ate, I had to go to every class, and attend parent-teacher meetings. I had to be friendly with their friends’ parents. But I must say, every parent around my kids helped a lot,” he stated further.
Akram represented Pakistan in 104 Tests, picking up 414 wickets, which remains the highest for a Pakistani bowler. He also picked 502 wickets in 356 ODIs.
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