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Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar

Pakistan

BOWLER
  • 46 yrs.
  • Right Handed

Towards the late 90’s, ever since the speedometer grew in prominence, tracking bowling speeds shifted from being another statistical feature to an obsession that added marvel to a seamer’s repute. It tempted a generation of speedsters to topple what was long believed to be Jeff Thomso

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Personal Information
Born August 13, 1975
Birth Place Rawalpindi, Punjab
Current age 46
Role Bowler
Batting style Right Handed
Bowling style Right-arm fast
ICC Rankings ODI Test T20I
Batting
Bowling
All Rounder
Profile

Towards the late 90’s, ever since the speedometer grew in prominence, tracking bowling speeds shifted from being another statistical feature to an obsession that added marvel to a seamer’s repute. It tempted a generation of speedsters to topple what was long believed to be Jeff Thomson’s standing record of a 99.9 Mph delivery. Only two candidates emerged from that rat race, Thompson’s Australian compatriot Brett Lee and before him, a Pakistani, later dubbed as ‘’The Rawalpindi Express’’, Shoaib Akhtar.

Running in like a sprinter, freckles protruding focused eyes that sought a solitary purpose of hitting the deck hard as possible to shock his batting nemesis by sheer speed, and dismantle the erect stumps, Shoaib guards into multiple pieces. It successfully startled many, as few had experienced ball movement that rapid. It either unsettled batsmen or even a fortuitous knick had enough to sneak a boundary. Old school swing was very much second-fiddle. Here was cricket’s rebel. It kept audiences glued as he had carved himself a novelty in cricket. That novelty’s zenith came earlier than many realized, at the 1999 Cricket World Cup in England. Then, a mere year into his international career, Shoaib accompanied captain Wasim Akram to lead Pakistan’s bowling attack, succeeding a retired Waqar Younis. Many were still coping to comprehend an enigma, as he gained enough leverage to be among the tournament’s top wicket-takers. The novelty slowly wore off, though. It also took its toll on his body, with Shoaib’s bones and ligaments undergoing severe wear and tear. It directly affected his speeds. Brett Lee’s emergence no longer made Shoaib’s style one of-a-kind, as neither could dominate world cricket, but only rehash their fear-factors from time to time by honing variation skills getting bulk wickets over odd matches. Batsmen soon became cultured sloggers; in a game which itself transitioned more in their favour.

Large layoffs owing to injuries snubbed efforts to rebuild his career, increasing frustration. Companionship was sought with controversies, from performance-enhancing & recreational drugs, to a run-in with teammate Mohammad Asif. Under-the-hood, WADA suspicions grew which the PCB did best to protect Akhtar from. Bans were dished, appealed against and overturned. Successful returns in the IPL and limited-over Internationals reinvigorated fanfare. A larger picture, beyond speed (wickets), always felt needful. Akhtar did go onto break Thompson’s record. At what price, few would know.

Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 2764 126
2 India 2987 119
3 Australia 1844 108
4 England 3753 107
5 Pakistan 2481 92
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 2054 121
2 England 3793 119
3 Australia 3244 116
4 India 3624 113
5 South Africa 2267 103
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 7786 278
2 India 7093 273
3 New Zealand 6048 263
4 Pakistan 8883 261
5 South Africa 6640 246
FULL Ranking