I will be paid to enjoy the jokes
I don’t think there can be a better job than this: Shoaib Akhtar
What made you agree to judge a comedy show?
A: Well, I am a peace-loving and fun-loving person. More than being a judge I am happy to be a part of Indian Mazak League on Life Ok. I am sure with the kind of talent that we have on the show it will be loads of fun. OK, let me put it this way: I will be paid to enjoy the jokes. I don’t think there can be a better job than this.
Tell us about the funniest cricketers you know and some memories with them?
A: Ah! I have played and interacted with some real fun-loving people. Take it from me Pakistan dressing room was and is the best dressing-room for a cricketer. There is so much banter, harmless leg-pulling, one-liners in Pakistan team that my jaws use to ache laughing so much. It was fun to be with guys like Mohammed Yusuf, Shoaib Mallik...they were joke a minute guys. Even the seniors like Wasim Akram and Inzamam-ul Haq were unbelievably funny. It used to be a laugh riot to say the least. I still can’t get over the mimicry acts of Shoaib Mallik, that man is on another level.
Your look and style on the show...anything in particular that you have in mind
A: I have my own style and love sticking to it. For example I love wearing slightly flared trousers which is quite different from the pencil look bottoms that guys wear these days. Besides, I like to play around with colours of my outfits. Personally, I like wearing a lot of suits, waist-coats, t-shirts and jeans, so I will continue the same way.
your favorite comedians current and yesteryear, pls fav comedy movies and shows
A: I like the works of Akshay Kumar, Javed Jaffery our very own Omar Sharif. They are all wonderful and extremely talented. Sometimes I am in awe of their work. As for the movies I enjoyed “Andaz Apna Apna”, “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” and all Amitabh Bachchan movies which had comedy or fun angle in them.
Have you always had a funny bone? What does your family say about it?
A: Yes I always had the gift of the gab. In fact you will see most Punjabis have it — whether from Indian Punjab or Pakistani Punjab. In Indian team I have had some memorable fun time with guys like Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh and lately Virender Sehwag although Sehwag is not from Punjab. My family too loves my share of fun but I must tell you that when at home I don’t say much as I am a younger sibling.
What is the kind of humour that you enjoy?
A: I love all kinds of humour but love the spontaneous fun. To me humour is something that a person can take home and even laugh out loud alone reminiscing of that. Like a good joke or a funny incident stays with you for a long time even an act of humour should be like that. At the same time I find some comedians crossing the line of decency which is not right. A humour that I can watch with my family and still don’t feel embarrassed about is what I am after.
Do sports and humour go hand in hand and why do you feel so?
A: Oh yes, of course, it does. I can talk about a team sport like cricket which is essentially an assimilation of different characters. This is what makes the whole ride so much fun. While I’d think and look at a particular situation in my own way but someone like Inzamam bhai or Afridi would have a different take to it. Besides, professional sport can be stressful as well. Therefore it is important to have characters in the dressing room who can make light of a tough situation. Therefore I think it is crucial to have humour in sport.
What do you feel about Harbhajan also being part of the show, tell us about the rapport you'll share?
A: Me and Harbhajan have had some interesting battles on the cricket field. He is a good competitor and now we will be a team on the comedy show. This will be different but yet fun. I am looking forward to that and I hope we can do justice to the job that is given to us.
Are you open to film offers and what kind of films would you like to do
A: At the moment my priority is my family and my work. Rest everything is on the backseat. I don’t look too much into the future and take things as they come.
Your thoughts about pak artistes receiving appreciation in bollywood
A: It is good to see my fellow countrymen doing Pakistan proud in Indian film industry. I am sure these things help spread the message of peace and harmony although I’d love to see them getting as much acknowledgement and respect in Pakistan too.
which cricketers would you recommend should turn actors/judges/ hosts and why
A: Well, I’d leave that to individual choice. All I can say at the moment is that me and Harbhajan Singh have been offered this role and we are up for it. I hope we can play some part in making Indian Mazaak League a grand success.
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