10:01 p.m. I’m so goddamn excited, I can’t tell you. This is going to be AMAZING.
10:02 p.m. What the hell is this? Why is this guy talking about the PML-N and what’s going on with the coalition? Who gives a crap? God I hate politics.
10:02 p.m. “We want Shoaib!” “We want Shoaib!”
10:03 p.m. Is there more than one Dawn News channel? I’m positive I heard the ad on FM 89 say the interview would be on at 10. This is really pissing off.
10:05 p.m. Alright, the news is over. Fingers crossed…
10:06 p.m. I’m REALLY hoping for the slicked-back hair.
10:06 p.m. The host comes on. There’s a red couch. And Shoaib walks out in sunglasses (it’s an indoor studio, as you might expect) and a dirty tight white t-shirt. No (or very little) gel in the hair unfortunately.
10:07 p.m. He starts off describing how hard he’s training. He immediately jumps into the victim routine, calling himself a good teammate, and decrying unfair representations of him to the contrary.
10:10 p.m. He calls fast bowlers “precious cargo” and says that they should be in “precious containers”. I see we’ve moved on from the luxury car metaphor to the traded goods metaphor.
10:11 p.m. He calls Salman and Shahrukh Khan his two best friends and says that he likes partying with his “boss” and “friend” Shahrukh Khan. Man, I hope this interview lasts a full hour.
10:13 p.m. AKS texts: “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!!!” Yup, I agree.
10:14 p.m. He says he’s unfairly targeted with respect to partying; others don’t attract attention with their recreational activities. I guess he’s sort of right there.
10:14 p.m. He kept saying something about not being “politically correct” but I swear I thought he was saying “pathetically cricket”. He really has an incomprehensible accent, I have to say.
10:15 p.m. For the record, his t-shirt says “Diesel Trainer” across his chest.
10:17 p.m. He calls Imran the biggest influence on his bowling. Interesting; I thought it would be Wasim. He also claims he shares with Imran a “passion for the country” and “honesty”.
10:21 p.m. He says he’s not one overly bothered with appearances, though he did make the effort to shave for the show, as he tells us. So I’m glad we’ve established this today: Shoaib Akhtar is not vain.
10:23 p.m. The host asks him if there’s “anyone special” in his life. He replies “no, I’m single”. He follows this up with an extremely goofy smile, and sticks his tongue out cheekily.
10:24 p.m. His pickup line, according to himself: “I really like you, I think you’re fantastic looking.” His advice on how to approach women: “You have to be genuine.”
10:26 p.m. He says he gets up at 5:30 for prayers, and then he goes for training. I think there’s a greater chance of Salman Rushdie praying fajr than Shoaib Akhtar.
10:27 p.m. He claims knives have been drawn in the Pakistani dressing room in disputes between players, but that he doesn’t want to divulge details because he doesn’t like bringing intra-team disputes public. Clearly a shot at Afridi and Asif for Batgate.
10:31 p.m. “What is the real Shoaib Akhtar like? What do you like doing in your free time, when you’re not playing cricket?” Shoaib’s reply: “On my couch, watching National Geographic.” I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to.
10:33 p.m. Again, the victim, this time claiming that there is a personal vendetta against him in Pakistan, purportedly drawing a contrast with his time at the IPL. Dude, the only reason they don’t hate you yet is because they haven’t spent more than two weeks with you.
10:35 p.m. “I love to go out,” he explains. “I love to go to a bar….or something…[realizing he’s made a boo-boo, given that this is the Islamic Republic]…you know, to eat or something.”
10:37 p.m. “I like to do edgy things in my life.”
10:38 p.m. The host asks Shoaib what his post-retirement plans would be, other than charity. “I would like to have a small office, where I can go in the morning, I can take my wife there…” he says.
10:39 p.m. The host says that he finds Shoaib exceedingly normal, and that he wishes the rest of Pakistan could see what he sees in the interview. Shoaib agrees. “I don’t come on TV as much as I should,” he says. I’m sorry, I’m at the point where I’ve run out of jokes.
10:43 p.m. Apparently, a media school is in the works so that he can better help project a good image of Pakistan abroad.
10:45 p.m. Shahrukh is apparently “really, really fond of” him. Lonely club that one, eh Shahrukh? Meanwhile, we are told Salman Khan is “a man of a gold heart.”
10:47 p.m. The host asks if one of the “hot women” of Bollywood have ever “tried to get jiggy with you.” This host is as idiotic as Shoaib, I’ve concluded.
10:50 p.m. Rapid-fire questions. Nothing really interesting out of it, except for his fondness for Wasim, Imran, some model called Vinny, his distaste for the spoken English of someone called Meera, and the curious fact that his self-evaluated best quality (“my honesty”) is the same as his biggest weakness (“sometimes I’m too honest”).