A personal effort by Mahesh Bhatt notwithstanding, speedster Shoaib Akhtar has turned down an offer from the filmmaker to play the lead role in his forthcoming film 'Gangster'.
Bhatt, who is in Pakistan to promote his new film Nazar, met Shoaib's media and marketing manager on Monday in Karachi to try and convince the bowler to take up the offer.
However, the agent conveyed the bowler's intention to continue to concentrate on his cricket and thanked Bhatt for the offer.
"Bhatt was in Karachi on Monday and met Shoaib's agent who has been brought in to market and project a positive image of the cricketer publicly," local daily The News quoted a source closed to the player as saying.
"He (Shoaib's manager) thanked Bhatt for considering Shoaib for the film but made it clear to him that the paceman would not be taking up an acting career and that he wanted to concentrate full time on cricket.
"He also told Bhatt that Shoaib was very keen to make a comeback to the Pakistan team and realised the only way he could do this was to concentrate 100 per cent on cricket and go and perform for Worcestershire."
Despite the bowler making it clear that he was not interested in taking up acting, Bhatt had said that he would personally try and convince the 'Rawalpindi Express' to take up the offer.
The source said Shoaib, who was overlooked for the ongoing tour of West Indies by the selectors who believe he still needs to regain 100 per cent match fitness to play at the international level, was very keen to make a comeback in the home series against England later this year and another factor that had jolted him was the illness of his mother.
"He now just wants to put everything behind him and concentrate on performing and winning back his place in the national team," the source added.
Bhatt offered the role to Shoaib after not being able to get dates from Bollywood stars Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham.