By now, everyone's read about and expressed an opinion on cricket's latest scandal - Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif failing a drugs test. That Shoaib would partake of a banned substance probably does not come as a surprise to many, but I suspect even the most hardened cynic would be shocked at what goes on in the cricketing world.
The stories I could tell probably would not be believed, and yet I am quite certain that what I have witnessed barely scratches the surface. After all, it's not as if I routinely move around in such exalted social circles! Still, my own experiences have been sufficient to ensure that little does surprise me. In fact, I am amazed that much more has not been exposed in the media, although I am glad for it in so far as I am more interested in cricketer's on-field exploits than there off-field ones.
Still, for those who are curious, some of the things I have either seen with my own eyes, or heard about from one or more of the parties involved include:
- recreational drug use (okay, that one's not going to surprise anyone)
- discussion of how to start with creatine (not considered doping, although it's banned in many countries), and go on from there
- cricketers on the phone to their wives whilst in bed with someone else (no, this is not one of the ones where I was standing in the room)
- notes being passed between the dressing room and groupies with arrangements of where and when to meet
- requests to officials/management to arrange 'dates' with specifical types of women
- exchange of 'love letters' over many years with multiple women (by married cricketers, of course)
More than enough said.