Saturday, October 1, 2011


Shoaib Akhtar
KARACHI: Controvesry-prone former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Saturday backed his ex-teammate Shoaib Akhtar's claim that Sachin Tendulkar was uncomfortable against his pace, saying that he had once witnessed the Indian batsman "trembling" while facing the pacer.

Afridi, who retired after revolting against his own board and has a history of making controversial remarks, said Tendulkar was uneasy against Akhtar, a claim which the pacer made in his recently-launched autobiography 'Controversially Yours'.

"He (Tendulkar) was scared of Shoaib. I have seen it myself. I was fielding at square leg and saw his legs trembling when Shoaib came on to bowl," Afridi told reporters without elaborating on which match he was referring to.

Afridi went on to state that Tendulkar was also uncomfortable facing young Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal during their World Cup match.

"During the World Cup, he also looked scared of Saeed Ajmal. It's not a big deal, players do feel the pressure at times and it becomes difficult," he said.

Afridi's comments in support of Akhtar come barely within days of the launch of the autobiography, which created a furore in India with several former players and BCCI officials slamming the speedster for making tall claims in the book.

Akhtar, who had a history of disciplinary violations and had also been banned during his career, had made disparaging comments about Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

This is not the first time that Afridi has made provocative comments which may not go down too well with Indian fans.

After the World Cup semifinal loss to India earlier this year, Afridi had slammed the Indian media for its "very negative approach" and said the Pakistani media was a "hundred times better".

"In my opinion, if I have to tell the truth, they (Indians) will never have hearts like Muslims and Pakistanis. I don't think they have the large and clean hearts that Allah has given us," Afridi had said when he was asked about relations between the two countries.

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