Rawalpindi: There was a time when Pakistani cricketers participated in the cash-rich Indian Premier League – but now, that has stopped, owing to the disturbed diplomatic relations between the two nations. Years after retiring from cricket, ex Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar – who has been to India on many occasions – named two Indians who protected him like their younger brother. It is surprising that they are not cricketers, but Bollywood mega-stars.

Akhtar said Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan have always cared for and ‘protected’ him like a younger brother. The former Pakistani speedster also recalled a time when he stayed in India so much that his local friends had started asking him to get his identity cards remade. Akhtar said:

“I loved interacting with people in Bombay (Mumbai), Salman and Shah Rukh have really taken care of me like a younger brother. And whenever I was with their families and their circles, they made sure to always protect me. Unfortunately, it’s been five years, I haven’t been able to come to India. But there was also a time when people had started asking me to get my Aadhar and Ration Cards made because of how much I worked there,” Akhtar said during an interaction with Sportskeeda.

Akhtar, who was part of the SRK-owned KKR, said he’s been praying for the political relations between India and Pakistan to improve so he could be the first person to land here and “make tons of money.”

“I have very fond memories of India, I just keep on praying (to come back), I recently told my friends, too, that hopefully India and Pakistan will have better relations in a few months and I’ll be the first person to land in India and make tons of money (chuckles),” he added.