"contractual violations finally resulted in us cutting ties"
Ex-Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar has distanced himself from Rawalpindi Express.
The film, which is based on the cricketer’s life, has subsequently been thrown into disarray.
Shoaib Akhtar took to Twitter on January 21, 2023, to announce that he has disassociated himself from the “dream project” and legally revoked all rights to his life’s story.
He claimed that his decision to leave the project was due to a “failure to resolve disagreements” and “constant contractual violations”.
In the statement shared on Twitter, he said:
“Very sadly, I would like to inform all of you that after careful consideration for months, I have decided to disassociate myself from the film Rawalpindi Express and its makers by terminating the agreement through my management and legal team.”
Important announcement. pic.twitter.com/P7zTnTK1C0
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) January 21, 2023
Shoaib assured fans that although he tried to stay on board, the project just didn’t work out as he had hoped.
He continued: “Definitely, it was a dream project and I tried a lot to prevent [this] and stay in the boat but unfortunately, things were not going well.
“Failure to resolve disagreements amicably and constant contractual violations finally resulted in us cutting ties with them.
“I have left the project after complying [with] all legal protocols of revoking the rights to the story of my life.”
He also threatened “severe” legal consequences for the filmmakers if they continue with the production of the biopic.
“Severe legal action will be taken if the makers continue to make a biography film and use my name or life story events in any way.”
Originally scheduled to release in November 2023, the “first foreign film about a Pakistani sportsman” was announced in July 2022.
The film’s director, Muhammad Faraz Qaiser, said it was a dream come true for him since he had finally set in motion an idea that he had back in 2016.
In November 2022, singer and actor Umair Jaswal announced that he would portray Shoaib Akhtar in Rawalpindi Express.
However, Umair announced he will no longer be part of the project.
He took to Twitter on January 4, 2023, to share that he will not be playing the ex-cricketer due to “creative and personal reasons”.
Due to creative and personal reasons I have decided to step away from the Shoaib Akhtar biopic project RAWALPINDI EXPRESS. I will no longer be associated with any media or news related to this project.
Wishing everyone involved all the best. pic.twitter.com/JT2ZwEQYPE
— Umair Jaswal (@umairjaswal) January 4, 2023
The filmmakers did not release a statement on the matter.
During his international career, Shoaib Akhtar played 46 Test cricket matches, 163 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 15 T20 Internationals.
He holds the record of the fastest recorded delivery.