Akhtar failed to handle the fame, says Imran Khan
September 9, 2007 6:19am CST
DUBAI (Reuters) - The failure of Shoaib Akhtar to cope with the fame accorded an international sportsman has been a tragedy for Pakistan cricket, says former captain Imran Khan. "He has such great potential (as a fast bowler) he could have done wonders but he has let himself down for being in the news for the wrong reasons," Imran told Reuters on Saturday. "That's a big tragedy for Pakistan cricket. Shoaib has failed to handle all the fame," added Imran, who is in Dubai to raise funds for his cancer hospital. Akhtar was sent home from the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa on Friday after a bust up with team mate Mohammad Asif. The incident, described as a "shameful episode" by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf, occurred in the nets on Thursday when a heated argument led to the 32-year-old Akhtar striking his fellow fast bowler on the thigh with a bat. Akhtar, who has taken 169 test and 208 one-day international wickets, has a history of run-ins with players and officials and has been reprimanded on several occasions. "The frequent changes of Pakistan captain has further compounded Shoaib's problems," said Imran. "Shoaib is a clear case of unfulfilled potential...and has to take all the blame for following controversies.