Former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram has said that mental health is a very important aspect of a sportsperson’s career. He also added that during his playing days, most cricketers weren’t even aware of mental health issues, claiming that the subject is still considered a bit of a taboo in the subcontinent as well.
While speaking to Sportskeeda, Akram said, “In our culture, mental health is still a bit of a taboo subject, but it is there. Some cricketers speak to their parents, their brothers or sisters maybe. I think there is a psychologist with the teams right now. It’s a very important aspect of any sportsman’s life. In the 90s, we didn’t even know that mental health was a thing. I don’t know how we tackled our pressures; maybe different ways, but there was no one to talk to. So, anybody going through anything in life, just speak to someone. It will ease and help you to improve as a person on and off the field.”
Wasim Akram has played 104 Tests and 356 ODIs for Pakistan, picking up 414 and 502 wickets, respectively. He also smashed three Test centuries, including a best of 257* as well. While he is known as one of the best fast bowlers in cricketing history, Akram also has faced rough patches in his personal life. In his autobiography, he shared of suffering from drug addiction at one point in life as well.
“I am 57 years old now. One thing I have learnt, with the lot of mistakes I have made in life, is that every problem has a solution. There is a situation where you feel that it’s the last resort; I can’t do anything about it. I have lost hope. People take drastic steps, but no, there is a solution for every problem. Some take less time, some take longer. So, focus on your problem. Don’t think about it all day long. Keep it aside in a compartment. In the evening, when you are relaxed, think about it, sort the solutions. Explore the options, most of the times it will be solved,” Wasim Akram concluded.