Veteran Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is often regarded as the fastest bowler to play the game but at the same time, he failed to prolong his career due to persistent injuries. Akhtar used to breach the 150 kmph-mark quite casually with both red and white balls as he troubled several great batters with his raw pace which was very tough to handle for many.
The Rawalpindi Express was always in and out of the Pakistan squad primarily because of his fitness issues as he had troubles with his knees throughout his career.
Akhtar in a recent interview with a leading English newspaper stated that he would have been the greatest ever bowler if he managed his fitness during his career.
“Had I been the fittest guy, I would’ve been the greatest ever,” Akhtar told the Guardian.
Recently, the veteran pacer was operated upon on his knee in Melbourne, Australia. He went on to reveal that he has been in pain for the past 11 years, even after his retirement from international cricket and this is the peril of bowling fast.
Akhtar also revealed his response when the doctor asked him that was it worth it playing with all the pain during his career.
“My doctor asked me recently: ‘Shoaib, you are in so much pain right now. Tell me one thing. Was it worth it?’ I said: ‘Doc, every minute of it. It was so worth it,’” Akhtar stated.
Akhtar claimed 178 wickets in 46 Test matches at an average of 25.7. He also had a good record in 163 ODIs for Pakistan in which he picked 247 scalps. He didn’t get a chance to play many T20Is as he picked 19 wickets in 15 matches.
After his retirement, he was often seen on various media platforms expressing his views and now he is active on his own YouTube channel where he gives his view on various cricket related topics.