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]
- Match drawnvs. WINZ1st TestMon, Dec 02, 2013Dunedin, New ZealandWest Indies in New Zealand...
- SA won by 141 runsvs. INDSA1st ODIThu, Dec 05, 2013Johannesburg, South AfricaIndia in South Africa ODI ...
- IRE won by 68 runsvs. IREAFGFinalSat, Nov 30, 2013Abu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesICC World Twenty20 Qualifi...
- live match AUS 132/3 (39 Overs)vs. ENGAUS2nd TestLIVEENG 172/10; AUS 570/9(D);Adelaide, AustraliaThe Ashes 2013-14...
- Upcoming matchvs. INDSA2nd ODISun, Dec 08, 2013Durban, South AfricaIndia in South Africa ODI ...
- Upcoming matchvs. PAKAFGOne-off T20ISun, Dec 08, 2013Sharjah, United Arab EmiratesAfghanistan vs Pakistan T2...
- vs. WINZ2nd TestTue, Dec 10, 2013Tue, Dec 10, 2013Wellington, New ZealandWest Indies in New Zealand...
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