The Rawalpindi Express
It wasn't just blinding pace and an infinitely long run-up that made Shoaib Akhtar stand out. In an international career that spanned 14 years and was often interrupted by bans, petty squabbles and run-ins with authority, Akhtar mostly flattered to deceive – except in constantly outdoing himself in the controversies department.
Born on August 13 in Rawalpindi in 1975, and the rightful inheritor of a proud fast bowling legacy, his initiation into Test cricket was characteristically eye-catching, when he bowled Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar off successive yorkers in the Asian Test Championship. A successful World Cup in England followed, but it was soon clear that Akhtar’s enduring claim to fame would, unfortunately and eventually, rest on the manifestations of his colorful personality.
His evolution into a wisened quick, with a deceptively dangerous slower ball, coincided with Pakistan’s defeat of England in their home Test series in 2005-06.
But the force of internal workings stole the show again: allegations of an unlawful action and ball-tampering, whispers of exchanging blows with a teammate, grave injuries, irreconcilable issues with Pakistan’s board and, finally, charges of doping brought to closure the career of one of cricket’s most enigmatic servants.
Tests: Matches 46, Wickets 178, Average 25.6, 5WI 12, 10WI 2, Best bowling 6/11; ODI: M 163, W 247, Avg 24.97, 5WI 4, BB 6/16; T20: M 15, W 19, Avg 22.73, BB 3/38.
A look at the man through some memorable quotes - by him as well as on him. [CYCSPL]
- WI won by 5 wkts.vs. ENGWI2nd T20ITue, Mar 11, 2014Bridgetown, Barbados, West IndiesEngland in West Indies T20...
- WI won by 27 runsvs. ENGWI1st T20ISun, Mar 09, 2014Bridgetown, Barbados, West IndiesEngland in West Indies T20...
- vs. AUSSA1st T20IMatch abandonedSun, Mar 09, 2014Port Elizabeth, South AfricaAustralia in South Africa ...
- No live matches are in progress.
- Upcoming matchvs. AUSSA2nd T20IWed, Mar 12, 2014Durban, South AfricaAustralia in South Africa ...
- Upcoming matchvs. ENGWI3rd T20IThu, Mar 13, 2014Bridgetown, Barbados, West IndiesEngland in West Indies T20...
- Upcoming matchvs. AUSSA3rd T20IFri, Mar 14, 2014Centurion, South AfricaAustralia in South Africa ...
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