Shoaib Akhtar is a former Pakistani cricketer who spent fourteen years playing in all three formats of the game. He was born on August 13, 1975, and is known as the “Rawalpindi Express” because he is from Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan.
He was a right-handed fast bowler who is credited with bowling the quickest delivery in cricket history.
The delivery, which reached 161.3 km/h, was bowled against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 group stages.
Akhtar was supposed to make his debut against India in the 1996 Sahara Cup, which was held in Toronto. He was sent off, however, due to indiscipline and a negative attitude.
During the West Indies’ 1997/98 tour of Pakistan, he was first called to play on his home ground of Rawalpindi in the 2nd Test. His debut was quiet and humble, with just two wickets to his credit.
In 1998, he made his debut during Pakistan’s tour of South Africa. He bowled at pace to take 5/43 and help Pakistan win for the first time in South Africa, despite coming into the match with a knee injury.
Rise to Glory
Just a few years after his debut, Akhtar began a string of promising performances against India in a pre-World Cup series in 1999.
His most notable effort came in India in 1999, when he took eight wickets in an Asian Test championship match in Calcutta, including that of Sachin Tendulkar, whom he dismissed with his first ball.
In the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1999 and the series against Australia in 2002, he was victorious.
Akhtar has been embroiled in a number of scandals, many of which have had a negative effect on his career.
In a test series against New Zealand in 2004, he left the field due to injury, prompting concerns about his contribution to the team from captain Inzamam ul Haq and the Pakistan Cricket Board.
He got into a verbal spat with former Pakistan captain and fast bowler Waqar Younis after a disappointing result in the 2003 Cricket World Cup. He was also found guilty of tampering with a ball.
The Pakistan Cricket Board suspended Akhtar and Mohammed Asif on October 16, 2006, after they tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance nandrolone. One of the most notorious scandals in the history of cricket is this one.
Somerset in 2001, Durham in 2003 and 2004, and Worcestershire in 2005 are the three English county cricket clubs for whom Akhtar has played.
Despite a few decent innings for one of the three teams, he was heavily chastised for not giving his best to the side. In the Indian Premier League, he was a member of the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Akhtar has two ten-wicket hauls to his name, both of which happened in 2003. These came in games against Bangladesh at home and New Zealand on the road.
In test cricket, he has received the man of the match award twice and ten times in limited overs cricket. He is also the first bowler to cross the 100mph mark twice during his career.
Many cricket experts agree that numbers and records do not do justice to Shoaib Akhtar’s illustrious career.
Controversially Yours, Akhtar’s autobiography, was published in September 2011. He has featured on a number of Indian and Pakistani television shows. Game On Hai, Geo Khelo Pakistan, Mazaak Mazaak hai, and Comedy Nights with Kapil are among them.