In a strongly-worded statement on AB de Villiers, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhter has attacked the South African for offering to come back from retirement and help his former international side in the World Cup. The news leaked out some days ago that the de Villiers, regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his generation, had made such an offer to Cricket South Africa (CSA) which was rejected by the board.
Akhter, who is uploading videos containing his analysis on the ongoing mega event, accused AB of putting financial concerns above his country. "There was pressure on him (AB de Villiers) to leave IPL and PSL contracts and make himself available for the World Cup. However, he chose the IPL, PSL and announced his retirement well before the World Cup. So basically everything started with finance. I think when he took this decision, he did it looking at finances and economics," the retired Pakistan fast bowler said.
But he wasn't done here. Akhter went on to continue his scathing attack and said de Villiers should not have forsaken his country. "I don't mind people making money but do it in the right way. If you indeed have to make money then pick and choose correctly but keep your country as the priority....You wanted to loot the whole mela (festival) and become breaking news by coming into the team but that is not right," the man formerly known as Rawalpindi express said.
He also drew a comparison between himself and de Villiers by claiming that he had refused a very lucrative deal with Indian Cricket League (a rebel league launched in India in 2007) because of his commitment to Pakistan.
"I was offered a lot of money by ICL but spurned the offer because I wanted to play for Pakistan. For half that money, I did go and play in IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders and received a lot of love from the people there. But my first commitment was to Pakistan," he added.
"Now your country is down and out because of you. Had you been there in the middle-order for South Africa then maybe they would not have performed so badly in the World Cup and who knows they could have also scripted a turnaround," Akhter said, further castigating de Villiers.
But in the sharpest attack on the former South African international, Shoaib had this to say: "When you have decided to retire, so be a man and stick to your decision. You become a man by giving up money (which he didn't do)."
While Akhter's words may be the sharpest, the basic sentiment expressed by him seems to be shared by many others. The refusal of South African authorities to bring back de Villiers has received wide support.