Shaoib Akhtar Retirement Video / Press Conference.
Shoaib Akhtar had announced that he will be retiring after the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, speedster Shoaib Akhtar’s career is being subjected to historical revisionism. Looking at it through rose-tinted glasses, he is being lauded for being perhaps the fastest bowler ever, for his devil-may-care attitude and winning personality and, above all, for all those occasions when he decimated batting line-ups. It is only fitting that he be remembered for these since they are a large part of thelegend that is Shoaib Akhtar. Shoaib started his career when the incomparable Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were ending theirs and there were fears that Pakistan’s assembly of fast bowlers would dry up. Luckily we got Shoaib, a bowler who’s interminable run-up and unimaginable speed were among the most exciting things to ever happen to Pakistan cricket.
Shoaib Akhtar Videos:
Shoaib Akhtar Fastest Bowler.
When one sees this warhorse gallop down the track, one wonders if he ever thought about the 100 meters dash before taking up cricket. There are various languages in this world, but for Shoaib Akhtar, in the game of cricket, there is only one language: SPEED. He talks that language with the fury of a King who does not want to be Second Best! Bowling fast is simply his Menu for breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, and that’s what he intends to do. Time is a factor that is for the connoisseurs.
His bowling can be compared to Bombardment in Physics. The term means directing a stream of high speed particles at an object. Akhtar does precisely that, he hurls the ball at great speeds making the distance of 22 yards a touch too short for the batsman to recover. By the time the batsman tries to focus on the ball, he is walking back to the pavilion, head hung in the air.
He made his Test debut in the second test of the season of 1997-98 at his Home Ground against the WI. (This, incidentally, has earned him a name of Rawalpindi Express). If Imran founded Wasim Akram as the Great Bowler that he is, one can be fair to say that it was Wasim Akram who continued the tradition of nurturing this Pace Man!
Shaoib Akhtar Fastest Ball in Cricket History:
Shoaib Akhtar bowled the fastest recorded ball in the history of cricket in the World Cup match at Newlands. The last ball of his second over was recorded at 161.3km/h or 100.2mph and betters his previous mark of 161.0km/h which he recorded on 27th of April 2002.
Over the past ten months, that particular ball has come under constant criticism in the media as individuals cast aspersions on the equipment in use then. But this time there can be no denying that Shoaib is the fastest bowler in recorded history, the fastest bowler in the world and the first bowler to officially break 100 miles-per-hour.
The 161.3km/h ball completed a maiden over bowled at Nick Knight of England and no doubt this over rates as the fastest in recorded history. Shoaib’s second over recorded speeds of 153.3km/h, 158.4km/h, 158.5km/h, 157.4km/h, 159.5km/h, 161.3km/h and had an astonishing average of 158.06km/h. These phenomenal speeds can only really be put into perspective when compared with Shoaib’s nearest rival in the `pace race’, Australia’s Brett Lee.
Lee’s fastest ever deliveries were recorded in Australia’s first match of the World Cup in which Shoaib also played. Lee’s first over produced speeds of 147.8km/h, 151.8km/h, 158.1km/h, 154.1km/h, 152.9km/h, 153.0km/h, 157.8km/h with an average of 153.64km/h. His fastest ball was 158.1km/h and at the time it was the fastest speed ever recorded by BBG Sports (formerly IDS). BBG Sports is an Australian-based company which is fulfilling the contract to record bowling speeds at the 2003 World Cup.
Shoaib previously recorded 161.0km/h in April last year but the unusual circumstances surrounding the event left most people dismissing the speed as an error.
Shoaib Akhtar abusing to Harbhajan Singh in Punjaabi (Punjabi Gaalian) happened in Asia Cup 2010
[tab:Shaoib Interview URDU]
Interview with Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar on Geo News Tv program AIK DIN GEO K SATH.
And there were the legendary spells. Who can forget the time he ran through the Australian batting line-up in an ODI in 2002? Or his classic deliveries that clean-bowled Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar and stunned a partisan crowd at Eden Gardens into silence? In Shoaib’s case, the numbers tell only part of the story. His 178 Test wickets at an average just below 26 speak of a fine bowler, but hardly one who will go down as a legend. This ignores the fact that from 1999-2005, there was no bowler as thrilling as Shoaib Akhtar.
It would be remiss, even at a time when he has just announced his retirement, not to mention, though, how Shoaib’s on-field achievements are eclipsed by his off-field antics. During his career, Shoaib missed more than half the Tests played by Pakistan through injury, bans for drug-taking, bans for beating up his teammates and bans for ball-tampering. Shoaib followed the beat of his own drum but even in a team sport that accommodates mavericks, he was a step too far. He considered himself above the rules and he damaged his career because of that. Shoaib Ahtar will never be forgotten but, above all, he will be remembered for depriving himself — and us — of much of his talent.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2011.