‘Be a man’, don’t play gimmicks, Akhtar tells De Villiers

Shoaib Akhtar, Danish Kaneria, Pakistan Cricket Board, pakistan cricket team, religious discrimination
Akhtar on Thursday (December 26) had claimed that Kaneria faced discrimination at the hands of a few Pakistani players, who were reluctant to even eat with him. File Photo: PTI

“Be a man” by sticking to your guns instead of playing “gimmicks”, former speedster Shoaib Akhtar told AB de Villiers after it came to light that the South African was keen to come out of retirement and play in the World Cup.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) rejected De Villiers’ offer, saying the selected players should represent the country in the World Cup as he himself had not paid heed to Board’s plea’s when he took the retirement call.

The former Pakistan cricketer said De Villiers preferred money over the country by playing in IPL and PSL and then retiring, though he still had two years of international cricket left in him.

“You had these last two years. People would have remembered you. It was not the correct decision. Now you want to come back it is not more than a gimmick. Taking retirement was already a wrong decision and now the offer to come out of it again is a wrong call. If you have taken a decision, ‘be a man’ and stick to your guns. You don’t clear your name like this,” Akhtar fumed in a video posted on his youtube channel.

“The country is down and out (in Word Cup) because of you. If you were there in the middle order and would have turned around. It’s sad that you chose money over the country.”

South Africa’s semifinal chances have taken a hit after three defeats in a row. Akhtar criticised De Villiers for preferring cash-rich leagues when he should have made himself available for South Africa.

Also, read: South Africa’s defeats mount just as their injuries pile up.

“He took this decision keeping in mind his finances. He should not have forgotten that the country comes first. You still had two years of cricket left in you. You could have played this World Cup and the T20 World Cup next year. Yet you preferred to play in IPL and PSL and then took retirement.

“I don’t mind people making money but do it in the right way. Now to clear your name you have made this offer but management has denied it categorically. They denied him the big headlines.

“You are a real man when you leave money. Kerry Packer happened and it was wrong. I was offered millions of dollars to play in ICL and was told not to play for Pakistan but I did not do that. I took half the money and played in IPL,” he said.

Also, read: Can South Africa shake off the ‘choker’ tag this World Cup?