According to his wife Shaniera Akram, Wasim Akram is more than just the 'Sultan of Swing' or an an impeccable cricket commentator. He might have led the Pakistan cricket team to victory many times, but it's his humour that won his wife's heart.
Wasim appeared on The Reham Khan Show on Sunday with Shaniera, who herself made a first-time appearance on television. Opening up about remarrying after the tragic loss of his first wife, Wasim and Shaniera both spoke candidly about their journey so far — including their baby daughter Aiyla.
Perks of having a ‘gori bahu’
Given that Shaniera hails from Australia, when Reham asked about his family’s reaction to his foreign bride, Wasim joked that the relationship between his mother and wife was a win-win situation for him:
“My mother admired her [Shaniera's] beauty but was worried about how both of them would communicate. I told her 'through signs'. But here’s the catch: my mother doesn’t know English as such and Shaniera doesn’t know Punjabi so it’s a perfect relationship,” he laughed.
He later added that they get on very well and his mother is learning the basics and Shaniera is also learning Urdu to bridge the communication gap.
When Reham asked Wasim if politics were in his future, Wasim was quick to answer, “My guru is in politics and that works for me.”
Being a single parent:
As a cricketer and commentator who was always travelling, Wasim admitted that he was a typical Pakistani father who’d buy stuff for his children, talk to them for a bit but wasn’t directly involved in their lives. His late wife, Huma, catered to the children’s needs and when she passed away his sons Akbar and Taimur, who were 9 and 12 respectively, went through a hard time:
“The first few months were very chaotic, I was still getting to know my children’s schedule, their friends, and Shaniera helped us a lot. She drops my son to his football practice and sees him perform as well.”
Is Pakistan home to Shaniera?
Although her origins state otherwise, according to Wasim, Shaniera enjoys Pakistani culture and he can vouch that she is 100% Pakistani. The language barrier remains but Shaniera herself believes that Pakistan is her home:
“Pakistan is home and that’s what I signed up for, I love it here,” said Shaniera.
Wasim, who is a patriot at heart, chooses to stay in Pakistan and Shaniera is fine with that because she can always fly to Australia which welcomes both with open arms.
Wasim Akram: loving, homely and mad?
Wasim might think that that his wife would describe him as ‘loving, homely and mad’ but Shaniera’s response differed. Calling him ‘’honest, reliable and funny’,’ Shaniera said:
|Wasim Akram and Shaniera Akram. – Photo Courtesy Shaniera Akram Twitter account.|
“I saw his energy and could foresee a future with him, we had a natural chemistry. When he proposed to me we were at a point in our lives where we had dealt with previous relationships. When you’re young, you grow together and little things mean a lot but in our case we were mature and older and little things don’t really count then.”
The goofy side of Wasim:
Wasim is quite a bit of a jester in his personal life and that is what appealed to Shaniera.
“I do jokes, like I would call Snoop Dog the rapper Snoopy Dog Dog, and would say ‘paint the town the red’ instead of ‘paint the town red’ and when I am out with friends I become the center [of attention] and make everyone laugh,” said Wasim.
Speaking about his journey as a cricketer, Wasim said he owed it to his mentors like Imran Khan and Javed Miandad. The swinger feels deeply about the current state of Pakistan cricket and hopes that it'll improve.