The man who is recognized as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket and ranked as the best bowler in one-day internationals of all time by Wisden reached the 50-year milestone of his life today.
A young man of 18 got the break when he took part in the trials conducted at the Gaddafi Stadium and caught Javed Miandad’s eye. From a boy who never played first class cricket before, Wasim Akram went on to become The Sultan of Swing, and the only bowler according to former Indian batsman VVS Laxman who could swing the old ball both ways at pace.
Wasim Akram was at the top for almost 20 years, in which time his famous whippy action brought him a record 916 international wickets for Pakistan. In only his second Test, he took 10 for 128 in Dunedin in 1985. He demolished England with two unforgettable deliveries, to Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis, in the World Cup final in Melbourne in 1992, each a definition of unplayable, states ESPNcricinfo.
The left-arm fast bowler became the first person to get 500 wickets in the 50-over format during the 2003 World Cup. When he finished his career, he was Pakistan’s top wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs.
Wasim Akram is the current coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders since 2010 and helped them to be crowned champions in 2012 and 2014.