Cricket has dug it’s roots deep down in Pakistan’s history. Cricket was born in Pakistan even before the birth of the country itself. Yeah, that’s correct. The first match was played in Karachi between teams from Australia and Sindh in the year 1935. And since then Pakistan has been producing legends for the world to see. Today, let’s have a look at the life of one of them: Wasim Akram, the living legend of Pakistan.
This legend opened his eyes in Lahore, Pakistan on 3rd June 1966, in an upper-middle-class family. During his education which he received from Islamia College Lahore, he was a college team star, he played the opening bowler and batsman.
He was a star club player back then. His marvelous performance during his teens, when he played for a local club, brought him into the light, also, sight of state team selectors. Javed Miandad, another living legend, was the person who discovered this immensely talented cricket player.
Do you know: In 1999, Akram took two hat-tricks in back-to-back Tests against Sri Lanka to help Pakistan win the Asian Test Championship (Source: Criclife)
Let us talk about Akram’s debut in the international cricket. He played against New Zealand in a Test match in 1985. He came into the limelight when he took 10 wickets in his second test match. Throughout his professional career, he bowled with genuine speed and hostility.
Akram was a man who possessed accurate control of line and length, seam and swing bowling skills, extended to both in-swingers and out-swingers. With a very quick bowling action, he could bowl equally well from both sides of the wicket. His mastery of reverse swing with the cricket ball meant he was the most dangerous in bowling innings, and earned him the nickname of the “Sultan of Swing”.
He was among the few cricketers who were inducted in international cricket without any domestic experience. His career took a rapid start in the 80s. His career was further lightened when Pakistani cricket team toured West Indies in 1988, he looked to be the fastest bowler between the two sides. But his early career didn’t last long. He went through two surgeries and after a lot of bed rest he reemerged in the 1990s as a fast bowler with more focus on accuracy and swing than pace.
Wasim Akram showed to be amazing player in 1992 Cricket World Cup final, which was held in Australia. This was when Pakistan won the tournament by beating England. Wasim’s auspicious bowling took many important wickets down during the final that led him to clinch the trophy for “Man of the Match”.
In 1999, he led Pakistan to the brink of victory in the World Cup before the players capitulated and were defeated by Australia in the final, by eight wickets with almost 30 overs to spare. Wasim is among the few cricket legends enlisted in ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. During the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, Wasim Akram became the first cricketer to have taken down 500 ODI (One Day Innings) wickets.
The living legend has earned honour and respect worldwide by his performances. He has been a source of inspiration for all the cricket lovers. Allan Border, a former Australian cricketer, defines Wasim Akram in the following words,
If I ever get a chance to be reborn I would want to be Wasim.
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