One of the best bowlers to have ever played the game of Cricket – Wasim Akram has revealed in his autobiography – Sultan : A Memoir about the fact that we had become addicted to cocaine post retirement. Yes, You heard that right!
Wasim Akram said the following on his cocaine addiction –
“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 dependence on cocaine. 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,”
“It made me volatile. It made me deceptive. Huma, I know, was often lonely in this time . . . she would talk of her desire to move to Karachi, to be nearer her parents and siblings. I was reluctant. Why? Partly because I liked going to Karachi on my own, pretending it was work when it was actually about partying, often for days at a time.
“Huma eventually found me out, discovering a packet of cocaine in my wallet . . . ‘You need help.’ I agreed. It was getting out of hand. I couldn’t control it. One line would become two, two would become four; four would become a gram, a gram would become two. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I grew inattentive to my diabetes, which caused me headaches and mood swings. Like a lot of addicts, part of me welcomed discovery: the secrecy had been exhausting.”
He then revealed how he even went to rehab to get free from his addictions but to no avail – “Movies conjure up an image of rehab as a caring, nurturing environment. This facility was brutal: a bare building with five cells, a meeting room and a kitchen. The doctor was a complete con man, who worked primarily on manipulating families rather than treating patients, on separating relatives from money rather than users from drugs.
“Try as I might, part of me was still smouldering inside about the indignity of what I’d been put through. My pride was hurt, and the lure of my lifestyle remained. I briefly contemplated divorce. I settled for heading to the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy where, out from under Huma’s daily scrutiny, I started using again,”
But he stopped with cocaine after the death of his wife due to a fungal infection mucormycosis which took a heavy toll on his heart and he decided that was it.
“Huma’s last selfless, unconscious act was curing me of my drug problem. That way of life was over, and I have never looked back.”