Wasim Akram has made certain startling revelations about how he was mistreated by former Pakistan teammate Saleem Malik during his early playing days. Akram, who made his debut in 1984, two years after Malik had made his first appearance for Pakistan, revealed in his biography ‘Sultan: A Memoir’, that Malik would take advantage of his seniority to treat him like a ‘servant’ while on tours.
“He would take advantage of my junior status. He was negative, selfish and treated me like a servant. He demanded I massage him; he ordered me to clean his clothes and boots. I was angry when some of the younger team members in Ramiz, Tahir, Mohsin, Shoaib Mohammad invited me to nightclubs,” read an excerpt from Akram’s book.
Akram and Malik remained teammates for several but reports of the two not seeing eye to eye kept on surfacing throughout their playing days. Akram even played under Malik when he captained Pakistan from 1992-1995, winning seven out of 12 Tests and 21 of 34 ODIs. In 2000, Malik was found guilty of match-fixing and was banned for life, but that did not prevent him from revealing the rough treatment from both Akram and Waqar Younis. In fact, Malik even went to the extent of saying that Akram would refrain from even speaking to him when he was captain since Wasim was eyeing the position for himself.
“When I would go to Wasim to hand him the ball, he would snatch it from me, because he wasn’t talking to me. There was anger because I had become captain, whereas Wasim and Waqar wanted it. Both of them weren’t speaking to me, and yet we won the series. Wasim would snatch the ball from me and walk away, and I would walk along with him. Waz wasn’t talking to me,” Malik had said earlier this year in an interview with a local media channel.
“I would tell him: ‘Waz, you’re the No.1 bowler in the world.’ I am saying it to him while he’s walking to his run-up in anger. I said ‘You’re the No.1 bowler, you dismiss him, you don’t, it doesn’t matter to me. You have your own reputation.”