'Went to Karachi pretending it was work, but I actually partied': Akram makes explosive 'cocaine addiction' revelation
Wasim Akram has made a jaw-dropping revelation about his cocaine addiction in his new book, ‘Sultan: A Memoir’.
Pakistan's former captain Wasim Akram is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the game. Akram, who had made his debut for Pakistan in 1984, represented the country for the next 19 years and held the record for most wickets in ODIs (502) until Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan went past him in 2009. In Tests, Akram represented Pakistan in 104 matches, taking 414 wickets with 25 five-wicket hauls to his name. The former left-arm pacer was also the highest wicket-taker in the 1992 World Cup where Pakistan lifted the title for their first title.
While Akram did retire as one of the legends in Pakistan cricket, the former cricketer has now made a major revelation about a rather dark phase in his post-playing career. Akram, now 56, admitted to his addiction to cocaine following his retirement, and also revealed that he underwent a rehab but to no avail.
“I liked to indulge myself; I liked to party,” Akram writes in his upcoming book ‘Sultan: A Memoir’, as quoted by times.co.uk.
“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 dependence on cocaine. 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,” Akram revealed.
Akram revealed that his addiction went to a point where he would secretly travel to Karachi to party. "Huma (Akram's then-wife), I know, was often lonely in 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,” revealed Akram.
Further talking about his addiction, Akram says that his cocaine addiction went from bad to worse as time passed.
“Huma eventually found me out, discovering a packet of cocaine in my wallet . . . ‘You need help.’ I agreed. It was getting out of hand. I couldn’t control it. One line would become two, two would become four; four would become a gram, a gram would become two. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I grew inattentive to my diabetes, which caused me headaches and mood swings. Like a lot of addicts, part of me welcomed discovery: the secrecy had been exhausting,” wrote Akram.
He also revealed that the rehab in Lahore didn't work, but instead proved to be a more traumatic experience. He says that the doctor focussed on “manipulating families rather than treating patients,” adding that he relapsed to his old habit after leaving the rehab building.
Eventually, Huma's tragic death from a rare fungal infection changed everything for Akram. “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,” Akram said.