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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wasim Akram shot at - escapes unhurt in Karachi road rage !

Some roads are killing fields – the other day, the van overtook a sewer truck, cutting across its path – the truck driver was furious, honed the horn violently, came dangerously close, succeeded in overtaking again, tried pushing the van to the corner, trying to bring the van to an uncomfortable stop …… more so, if you are in a luxury car – the truck, van, other vehicles might try to show their fury and power ! – for what ? –directed against whom ??

Road rage is aggressive or angry behaviour by a driver of an automobile or other road vehicle. Such behaviour might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions that result in injuries and even deaths.  People often fail to realise that they  can't control another driver's behavior, but can control their own. When another driver cuts you off, how you react will determine what happens next. If you are able to back off, take a deep breath, and remain calm, then you can defuse a potentially violent situation.

In India Cricketers are celebrities – treated royally – not everywhere perhaps, as found out by WasimAkram in his own country.  At Karachi, Akram, one of the greatest fast bowlers produced by Pakistan  was shot at in a road rage incident; escaped unhurt.  The former Pakistan captain was on his way to National Stadium to tutor youngsters on the art of seam and swing when a Honda Civic with four occupants was involved in a minor accident with his Mercedes near Karachi's Karsaz Golf Club. The mishap almost led to disastrous consequences.  According to Akram’s version in, “There was lot of rush and I was driving in the middle lane. Peeche se aakar kisi ki gaadi halkisi touch hui. I signalled the driver to stop and pull over. He signalled that he would, then tried to drive away which frustrated me. Maine unki gaadi ko halkasa haathmaara.  An altercation followed with the driver. At this stage, Wasim said, the owner came out, loaded his gun and pointed at him. “The traffic had stopped. People recognized me and started saying, Yeh to WasimAkramhai. The man then fired towards my car tyres and ran away,“ he said.

The former Pakistan captain commented on  road rage:  we let our fists do the talking, not guns. If the offender is man enough, he should come to me and I'll show him what road rage really is. He reportedly had  noted down the vehicle's number and given it to the police. It was a 2002 Honda with the registration number AEG-061,“ he added.Former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan, who had mentored Akram in his early days, immediately tweeted that he was glad to know that Wasim was safe.

Akram had a long and chequered  career stretching close to 19 years from his debut in 1985.   In 104 tests he made 2898 runs with 257 not out as highest; 3717 runs in 356 onedayers.  He once clubbed Chetan Sharma for 3 consecutive sixers in 1987 taking 25 runs in an over.  He took 414 test wickets and 502 one day wickets.

There is also the news of James Faulkner being  banned from driving for two years and fined £10,000 after he admitted the drink-driving offence which had already led to him missing the forthcoming limited-overs leg of Australia's tour of England.Faulkner, who was Man of the Match in the World Cup final in March2015  and is currently playing for Lancashire, was found to be nearly three times over the legal limit when he gave a breath test after his Toyota hit the back of a BMW 3 Series car in West Didsbury, Manchester on July 2.

Manchester Magistrates' Court heard that he did not want to walk the one mile home in heavy rain following an evening out with a friend from Tasmania, previously reported to be team-mate Tim Paine.District Judge Mark Hadfield explained that he had reached his decision on the level of Faulkner's fine because a community order would not be possible given his circumstances. Cricket Australia had already implemented their own disciplinary procedures shortly after Faulkner was stopped by police last month while he was also fined by Lancashire. He was handed four suspension points by CA for a level three offence which meant he was immediately ruled out of Australia's ODI against Ireland then the T20 against England and the start of the one-day series.

Getting back – in 2009, Akram’s wife Huma breathed her last at the Apollo Hospital, Chennai  following multiple organ failure.  She had been admitted there after an "emergency situation" when an air ambulance flying her to Singapore from Lahore halted at the city airport for scheduled refuelling.  At that time, Akram was quoted as saying that doctors in India tried their best to save the life of his wife Huma and accused their counterparts in Pakistan of only being interested in making money, days after a Parliamentary panel directed authorities to cancel licenses of 22 physicians in Lahore who treated her.

Later in Dec 2013, WasimAkram announced that he had married his Australian girlfriend, Shaniera Thompson, saying he has started a new life on a happy note.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
6th Aug 2015.

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