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Shoaib Akhtar takes a candid interview | The Express Tribune


 Legendary cricketer Shoaib Akhtar welcomed celebrated actor and host Sanam Jung, and multi-talented star Ayesha Omer to his hit show on UrduFlix. Akhtar set an intimate tone for earnest discussions ranging from family and personal triumphs to professional development and social change.

Sanam Jung is no ordinary actor, Akhtar proclaimed. “She possesses a vibrant spirit beyond her critically acclaimed performances.” Jung greeted fans as Akhtar highlighted her myriad hosting duties spanning sports shows to Ramazan transmissions.  Despite her packed schedule, Jung tries to live fully in each moment—whether playing with her children or acting on-set. “I’ll continue working as long as my heart feels joy,” she declared.

“What entertainment fields hasn’t Ayesha conquered?” Akhtar asked. He celebrated Omer’s acting versatility across comedy, drama and film. Her modeling career remains coveted years after taking the fashion world by storm. Recognising her singing as well, Akhtar questioned, “What remains now—aviation?” Omer confirmed with a chuckle that becoming a pilot is likely her sole remaining aspiration.  

When inquired by Akhtar about her beginnings in showbiz, Omer shared candidly about losing her father at only 18 months old. Needing to provide for her family, she appeared in her first commercial at age eight. Opportunities kept arising through her teen years until acting and modeling became full-time pursuits. Now financially stable, she aims to create security for her mother and siblings.  

Akhtar asked if Ayesha keeps up with the national cricket team. She said she admired fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi’s infectiously joyful energy. Akhtar on the other hand revealed that he recently mentored the squad. He urged them to become well-rounded people. He reminded them of their fortune to represent Pakistan globally. “They must showcase excellence while cherishing supporters worldwide,” he said.

Akhtar contrasted the local entertainment industry with India’s sizable, systematic machinery. He observed that Indian television emphasises dependability regarding schedules, appearances, and administration. Their industry safeguards celebrities’ public standing as precious entities. Admitting his bluntness occasionally causes controversy, Akhtar praised India for skillful brand management. “Pakistan has raw talent, but we must polish our gems,” he asserted.

Acknowledging Ayesha’s familiarity with rumors, Akhtar referenced recent tabloid photos alongside her alleged married co-star. Ayesha dismissed assumptions of an affair, adamantly declaring that “I would never injure another woman or family in that way”. Instead, she immerses herself in efforts like developing her new natural skincare business inspired by her affinity for nature and wellness.  

Pivoting the discussion, Akhtar asked Jung about the joys and challenges of her family life. Glowing while describing her children, Jung stressed her parents’ exceptional example. Despite bearing immense responsibilities directing dual school systems, her father nurtured an open, understanding relationship with his daughters. Her progressive upbringing enabled self-assurance in her own parenting style. Though she maintains her own home nowadays, Jung still frequently visits her cherished mother.

Resuming conversation about conducting oneself amid public pressures, Omer detailed her recent counseling of an emerging actress. The unnamed newcomer faced harassment from an obsessed fan who vandalised her vehicle. Still unsettled by the traumatic incident, the actress worried if she somehow caused this mistreatment or if this behavior would persist. “I told her the only responsible party was the criminal himself,” said Omer. Then she provided practical safety advice on securing private information to prevent further stalking while urging self-reliance. 

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