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Tearing through the pitch

books Updated: Sep 30, 2011 23:27 IST
Mondy Thapar
Mondy Thapar
Hindustan Times
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That the story of one of the most exciting cricketers of our time won't be written in a style that Neville Cardus would have approved is a given. Reading passages from Shoaib Akhtar's autobiography Controversially Yours, you find yourself smiling at the cheesy, boyish lines the book is littered with. (A caption with a photo of Akhtar in mid-delivery goes: "If I hadn't been born a human being, I would have been an eagle, of this I am sure.")

Apart from an insider's view of a great bowler, he also tells us of the rot in the Pakistani cricketing system. The wild-eyed boyishness adds to the general charm when he 'writes': "Our seniors set the example of going out, having a good time - girls were always coming and going out of their rooms ... But when one of the seniors became our coach, he preached what he never practised in his own time."

'Controversially', Akhtar talks about Sachin Tendulkar being scared of his bowling, about his ban following a dope test, his rivalries and fights, and his admission to ball-tampering. Journalist Anshu Dogra has transcribed what Akhtar spoke into the microphone. To sum up, a quick read about a charismatic sportsman and his rollercoaster ride through a cricketing life.