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]
- SL won by 5 wkts.vs. SLIND1st T20ITue, Feb 09, 2016Pune, IndiaSri Lanka in India T20 Ser...
- PAK won by 122 runsvs. NEPPAKSuper League Play-ofTue, Feb 09, 2016Fatullah, BangladeshUnder-19 World Cup, 2016...
- AFG won by 8 wkts.vs. NZAFGPlate Championship STue, Feb 09, 2016xxx-xxx-xxx, xxx-xxx-xxxUnder-19 World Cup, 2016...
- live match SA 213/0 (33.5 Overs)vs. ENGSA3rd ODILIVEENG 318/8;Centurion, South AfricaEngland in South Africa OD...
- Upcoming matchvs. SCOIREPlate Championship 1Wed, Feb 10, 2016xxx-xxx-xxx, xxx-xxx-xxxUnder-19 World Cup, 2016...
- Upcoming matchvs. ENGNAMSuper League Play-ofWed, Feb 10, 2016Fatullah, BangladeshUnder-19 World Cup, 2016...
- Upcoming matchvs. T.B.CNEPSuper League 7th-8thThu, Feb 11, 2016Fatullah, BangladeshUnder-19 World Cup, 2016...
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