Akram blames Asif for disgracing Pakistan

Lahore, Jul 16 (UNI) Coming down heavily on Mohammed Asif for tarnishing the image of Pakistan cricket, legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram said the beleagured pacer has only himself to blame for his troubles.

''Asif's actions have disgraced Pakistan and Pakistani cricket and that has been the case consistenly. I heard he has said he would file a case but I don't think he stands much of a chance against WADA findings,'' Akram was quoted as saying by a website.

''Everybody makes mistakes and they should learn from them.

If you don't learn from your mistakes, you will end up like Mohammed Asif,'' he added.

Akram, who had defended Asif when he got into a drug related problem for the first time in 2006, said both he and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will find it hard to defend the medium pacer this time round.

''I had then defended him (Asif) thinking he was a kid and naive and did not know the ways of the world,'' Akram stated.

''I had thought he should be given the benefit of doubt. After all he did come across as a talented bowler, who had a bright future.

''If I defend him now, people will call me a fool. Neither can the PCB defend Asif. Otherwise, the world will question the Board's intelligence.'' The former 'Sultan of Swing' also strongly criticised Shoaib Akhtar - another bad boy of Pakistan cricket.

''I got tired saying Shoaib should concentrate on playing for Pakistan. I have been stressing on this for the last two years,'' Akram lamented.

''He can party as much as he wants later but right now playing cricket for Pakistan should be top priority. He is towards the end of his career and if he stays fit and keeps performing consistently, he has a bit of a future ahead.'' UNI XC AB RN1716

Story first published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008, 17:36 [IST]
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