» Flashback »
The Willows Of Gold
The Accountability Cell of the Pakistan prime minister's office interrogated Akram after World Cup 1999 for four days for failing to disclose his actual income and assets. In a signed two-page statement in July that year, Akram made a clean breast of some of his earnings and the immovable properties he owned. He had till then kept the Pakistan tax authorities in the dark about his actual wealth.
In his statement, Akram confessed that apart from his house in Lahore—bought in 1997 for Rs 74 lakh—and another piece of land for building a farmhouse costing nearly Rs 23 lakh, he had not disclosed most of his other earnings and assets. Chief among these is his house in Manchester bought in 1988 for £90,000. "This property which is my foreign asset has not been declared before the tax authorities in Pakistan," he said. "I have approximately £1,36,000 in my bank account in Halifax Building Associates, England. Out of this, one lakh pounds was earned by me in my benefit year. This asset has also not been declared to the tax authorities in Pakistan and wealth tax on the Manchester flat as well as cash in bank has not been paid," he stated.
Akram also declared that there was another acre of land in Katcha village, "whose price I do not remember", and "due to an inadvertent mistake I also failed to declare one kanal plot at R Block Defence, Lahore." This plot, he mentioned, was purchased in 1992 for Rs 13.50 lakh.
Further, Akram confessed, "I never disclosed my foreign earnings from county cricket, freelance activities (commercials) and investment income to the tax authorities in Pakistan.... I have also been earning income from modelling in Pakistan from Rafhan, Pepsi, Grindlays and Paktel. This income is also partly undeclared."
Akram and team members had been earning monies from endorsing bat logos from Ihsan, C&A, AM Sports and Mids companies too. "This income has always been received in cash and no team member has ever disclosed it," he says.
There is a cryptic sign-off too. "It may be noted that my tax records are fully dealt with by my father and as I am frequently and most of the time out of the country, therefore, mistakes have occurred due to communication gap," he says.