The Rawalpindi Express
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.
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.
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]
- BAN won by 3 wkts.vs. SLBANSuper League 3rd-4thSat, Feb 13, 2016Fatullah, BangladeshUnder-19 World Cup, 2016...
- SA won by 1 wktvs. ENGSA4th ODIFri, Feb 12, 2016Johannesburg, South AfricaEngland in South Africa OD...
- IND won by 69 runsvs. SLIND2nd T20IFri, Feb 12, 2016Ranchi, IndiaSri Lanka in India T20 Ser...
- Upcoming matchvs. ENGSA5th ODISun, Feb 14, 2016Cape Town, South AfricaEngland in South Africa OD...
- Upcoming matchvs. IREUAE1st T20ISun, Feb 14, 2016Abu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesIreland vs United Arab Emi...
- Upcoming matchvs. SLIND3rd T20ISun, Feb 14, 2016Visakhapatnam, IndiaSri Lanka in India T20 Ser...
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