Wasim Akram clears the air as media links former Pak skipper with ex-Miss Universe Sushmita Sen.
When love is in the air, how can controversy be far behind? Hot on the heels of the Shoaib Malik-Ayesha Siddiqui-Sania Mirza saga that left a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth, two Pakistani quicks have been in the news for luscious reasons.
While the dope-tainted Mohammed Asif is facing heat from his ex-lover and actress-girlfriend Veena Malik, the Sultan of Swing and former Test skipper Wasim Akram is being romantically linked with former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen.
A recent report in Mumbai Mirror said Akram and Sushmita were spotted at a Mumbai nightspot and spent an evening in the company of each other. The report quoted an eyewitness account saying: "Akram and Sushmita walked in hand-in-hand at around 11.30 on a Monday night. They booked the bed-by-the-sea table and were seen relaxing. They seemed very comfortable in each other's company.
"Later, a couple of Sushmita's female friends also joined them. While Akram was acting coy, Sushmita seemed to be in pretty a playful mood and was loud enough to let the world know that she's very happy with the new man in her life. Both of them stayed together till around 1.45 when the restaurant shut down."
No matter how compelling the Mumbai Mirror report read, in an exclusive chat with espnstar.com on Friday night, Akram has cleared the air, strongly denying he was dating the Bengali beauty.
"I have known Sushmita for some time. Yes, I have been with her a couple of times, but if that means I am in love with her, then that's a very silly assumption," Akram said.
May not be in love, but Akram and Sushmita, who remains ‘single' by choice, have been ‘professionally' linked. Both were judges on a reality show Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena a couple of years ago. The chemistry between the two was a hallmark of the TV serial. While Sushmita is a proven movie star, Akram is a face on ESPN-STAR's star-studded commentary team.
"She is just a good friend, nothing more than that," Akram clarified.
The Pak pacer lost his wife Huma in October last year after illness. Sushmita was recently seen cheering for Kolkata team in an Indian Premier League match at the Eden Gardens. Akram is the team's bowling coach.
Meanwhile, Sushmita too has denied any romantic links with Akram. She praised the cricketer and said "he is a wonderful man."