Shoaib Akhtar's only demand is a bicycle

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By LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI in Calcutta
  • Published 10.05.08
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Calcutta: Strange as it may sound, the only material demand that Shoaib Akhtar has placed before the Kolkata Knight Riders is for a bicycle!

“He wants to cycle around but, obviously, that’s not possible,” a member of the Knight Riders’ team management told The Telegraph on Friday.

Shoaib, who joined the Knight Riders on Monday night after dramatic developments back in Pakistan, is understood to have been insisting that his “needs” are small.

“He believes that he’s always misunderstood… That he actually wants to do good, but gets caught up in one controversy or the other,” the team management member said.

Like compatriot Salman Butt, Shoaib is “itching” to turn out in the Indian Premier League. Butt has, of course, played one match in the fortnight or so that he’s been with the Knight Riders.

While Butt should play in Hyderabad on Sunday, there’s no certainty that Shoaib will.

Indeed, he spent much of Friday evening with physio Andrew Leipus.

“Shoaib won’t be fielded till he’s absolutely match-fit… (Coach) John Buchanan doesn’t compromise on anything, least of all something to do with fitness,” the team management member pointed out.

“He’s gelling well with the team and has been made to feel comfortable… It’s all a question of just how soon he’ll be fully fit,” the team management member added.

Clearly, there’s a distinct difference between being fit and being match-fit. After 11 years as an international cricketer, Shoaib can’t be unaware of that.