The 56-year-old, who had 916 wickets in international play, hung up his boots in May 2003 after Pakistan did poorly in the 50-over World Cup. After retiring from the game, he went on to work as a coach and a commentator.
“I liked to indulge myself; I liked to party. The culture of fame in south Asia is all-consuming, seductive, and corrupting. You can go to ten parties a night, and some do. And it took its toll on me. My devices turned into vices. Worst of all, I developed a cocaine dependence. It started innocuously enough when I was offered a line at a party in England; my use grew steadily more serious, to the point that I felt I needed it to function,” as per extracts from his autobiography, published in an interview.
Akram’s first wife, Huma, eventually discovered his addiction and responded by saying, “You need treatment.” The former Pakistani cricketer also discussed how drugs affected him as a person and caused him to ignore his diabetic problem. “It made me agitated. It caused me to be deceitful. I know Huma was often lonely during this time she talked of wanting to move to Karachi to be closer to her parents and siblings. I was hesitant. Why? Partly because I like coming to Karachi on my own and pretending it was working when it was really about partying for days on end.