Biography of Shoaib Akhtar:-Shoaib Akhtar, a living legend and one of the most feared bowlers in cricket history was born on 13th August 1975, a day before Pakistan Independence day. He once said in an interview that, I knew I would do something big and extraordinary in my life and I did it later. Also known as “Pindi Express” and “Tiger” by his fans, Shoaib is officially the fastest bowler in cricket history, his fastest ball (161.3 kph) came in a match against England. The batsman was Nick Knight, Shoaib became the first bowler to pass 100 mph barrier, and he crossed 100mph speed mark twice in his career. Brett Lee was the only bowler that comes close to Shoaib’s pace, he bowled third best 100.1 mph delivery but never broke Akhtar’s record.
Biography of Shoaib Akhtar
- Born:- 13 August 1975 (age 41), Rawalpindi
- Spouse:- Rubab Khan (m. 2014)
- ODI Debut:- 28 March 1998 v Zimbabwe
- Test Debut:- 29 November 1997 v West Indies
- Last ODI:- 8 March 2011 v New Zealand
- T20 Debut:- : 28 August 2006 v England
Shoaib Akhtar Stats & Records
Shoaib Akhtar was an angry young cricketer when he was in the domestic team, he had a great talent to be showcased in the national team, but still, his attitude problems barred him for at least a year’s delay from entering international cricket arena. Shoaib finally made a debut on his home ground Rawalpindi against West Indies in 1997-1998 tour of West Indies to Pakistan.
Shoaib was a revolutionary change and a significant addition to already lethal pace battery of Pakistan. Shoaib consistently bowled around 150-155 kph in Test and One Day cricket, a temperament and fitness level God-gifted to a player with not a proper sporting background.
Shoaib Akhtar International Career: Ups and Downs
Shoaib Akhtar stats and career roundup do not justify his talents and class, with such a brutal pace and ability to pitch perfect Yorkers and bouncers made some of the world class players to adopt a defensive technique against Akhtar. Shoaib Akhtar was involved in several controversies and scandals. He was out of the team at times for his indiscipline and non-serious attitude towards fellow cricketers and team management. Akhtar was a natural successor of Pakistan’s pace attack after the forced retirement of Wasim and Waqar.
The post-2003 era was all about Shoaib Akhtar’s achievements. He was the spearhead of Pakistan’s bowling attack, and he tore the opposition many times in his single bowling spell. Tendulkar and Dravid used to get defensive against Shoaib Akhtar even when he was not bowling so well that day.
Shoaib Akhtar was detrimental and lethal for Indian cricketers especially. He once bowled two of the greatest batsmen of Indian cricket early in the career in a test match in Kolkata. He sent Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar off back-to-back deliveries. He still remembers the moment of getting the wicket of the best batsman in history on the very first ball he ever bowled to Tendulkar.
The story of success had continued before he was sacked out of Pakistan Cricket team along with seven other players after a humiliating knockout defeat from the first round of World Cup 2003. A year later, Akhtar was back with more hostile and aggressive bowling plus an attitude always sky-high.
He prolonged his run-up; he started running right from the boundary ending up delivering a rocket-speed delivery. Shoaib had serious issues with the captain and Coach in 2004-2005; Inzamam often dropped him for his wrong approach. Shoaib learned by the time that his energy-consuming fast deliveries are becoming predictable in international cricket; he worked on variations including slower deliveries and sometimes short run-ups. It helped a lot in England series where he made full use of a combination of slower and quicker ones. He was super successive on England tour, and seventeen wickets marked a comeback series for him.
Shoaib Akhtar’s entire career was on a roller coaster dangling in and out of the team; he missed almost half of the test matches for his severe discipline and disputes with cricket board. He finally retired from Test cricket in 2007 after playing a match against India; Shoaib participated in 46 ODIs during his 10-year Test match career. With an average of 25.57, Shoaib Akhtar took 178 wickets with 12 five-wicket hauls in an inning and two 10-wicket hauls in a match. His best figures came out against New Zealand in Lahore. He took six wickets giving away 11 runs in that game. Shoaib Akhtar wickets in 163 ODI matches are 274 with four five-wicket hauls and best figures of 6/16 against New Zealand.
Injuries and Comebacks:
As a fast bowler with excellent pace, Shoaib was vulnerable to injuries, and he suffered a lot from running injuries. The first significant injury came against an away series against Australia when he was sent back due to a hamstring injury in 2005. Later in 2006, he suffered from constant injuries and poor physique; he started taking powerful drugs by then. He was operated for knee and ankle surgery in 2006. The complete biography of Shoaib Akhtar is occupied with his fights, bad discipline, aggressiveness off and on the field, and abusive language that were even caught on camera many times.
It was the year 2006 when Akhtar was in bad shape; he was tired, and his stamina was declining rapidly. He exhaust after delivering an over, Cricket board was in direct conflict with Shoaib and Asif on doping charges. Shoaib was banned for two years from using steroids, he appealed and got cleared. However, his bad form and fitness kept selectors way from selecting him for World Cup 2007. Shoaib Akhtar missed ICC T20 World Cup 2009 due to his skin infection; he termed statement issued by PCB as untrue and aiming to disturb Shoaib’s reputation.
Controversies and Scandals:
Shoaib Akhtar was banned and punished for his attitude and drug use. He was among the most controversial players of cricket in his era. He was first banned for bad mouth before he even contested in his first international match, the incident happened when Shoaib was in Pakistan-A team, his expected debut match was delayed by almost a year. Critics and analysts say that unexpected flow of money and fame as a youngster deteriorated him on professional and ethical grounds.
His conflict with Inzamam began in a match against New Zealand in 2004 when he deliberately left the field without asking the captain for it, posed himself injured when Inzamam was ready to give him a short bowling spell. An investigation team led by PCB officials later ruled out any possibility of internal conflict between the teammates, though there was a serious rift among players. At that time, Pakistan National team was divided into three groups; Shoaib was leading one of them. Shoaib and former Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer were never on the same page, he often argued with Woolmer on the game plan in team meetings and even during the match. Indian Security officers claimed that Shoaib Akhtar once slapped the coach Bob Woolmer on turning off music in player’s bus.
His involvement in verbal and heated exchange of words with several international players as well his teammates brought disgrace and disrespect to his country and the game of cricket. He was caught abusing his teammate, later his coach, Waqar Younis on the field during 2003 world cup match. The same year, he was alleged of ball tempering in a triangular cricket series that was organized in Sri Lankan soil, Shoaib Akhtar faced suspension and ban, he was, at the time only the second player to face a ban on ball tampering. It was 2003 when Akhtar was caught again having a rough and disrespectful conversation with Paul Adams, a Proteas spinner; he faced a test match and one ODI match ban following the scandal.
The 2005 series against Australia was more like a recreational tour for Shoaib Akhtar, he was a bad reputation for the dressing room and Pakistan cricket, Shoaib Akhtar disrespected code of conduct and night curfew set by national team administration. When he was scolded for his attitude, he used abusive language for coach, captain, and management that resulted in his return from Australia. PCB told media that they sent back Akhtar as he was injured and unfit for the rest of series.
His biggest scandal surfaced when Shoaib Akhtar was caught using drugs that enhance body functionality by the anti-doping committee along with his teammate Muhammad Asif. Nandrolone was found in Akhtar’s blood samples; PCB stopped him from bowling until further investigations. Both appeared before PCB Anti-doping committee. Board members held the hearing where both were proved to be guilty after the hearing of Pakistan Cricket Board Anti-doping committee. They faced a two-year ban from all forms of cricket by PCB.
Both the cricketers appealed in high court, the three-member panel ruled for Shoaib Akhtar; he was granted acquittal by a tribunal led by Justice Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim. During the controversy, Shoaib Akhtar missed another ICC tournament i.e. ICC Champions Trophy 2006. WADA challenged Pakistan Court’s decision in Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland, the ruling was dropped as Court of Arbitration considered it illegal to hear a case that has already been closed, it said it could not challenge a decision made by PCB.
Another blow suffered by Shoaib Akhtar was his exclusion from World Cup 2007; he considered it a reaction of PCB as he appealed against PCB decision. He was removed again from 15-man squad despite his good bowling forms, an unofficial statement by PCB alleged that Akhtar had STD genital warps that prevented his selection, and Akhtar strongly denounced the report. He said I would sue the cricket board for bringing disrespect to my name.
Shoaib Akhtar was involved in a direct conflict with PCB chairman Naseem Ashraf after he was banned for 5-years for not following the code of conduct and lack of discipline. He called it a political move by the president to provide him a share in IPL earnings that he was going to play.
Nasim gave legal notice to Shoaib Akhtar asking him to either apologize for his statement or pay Rs. 100 Million to him as compensation for defaming his personality and Rs. 100 Million to PCB. The court hearing ended in Shoaib’s ban lift. Nasim Ashraf took back defamation lawsuit and reconciled with Shoaib Akhtar at Senior Minister’s house.
Shoaib was involved in a physical confrontation with Muhammad Asif; Shoaib had a rough conversation with Shahid Afridi and Muhammad Asif in the dressing room that ended with a bruise on Asif’s thigh. Shahid Afridi prevented Shoaib from further confrontation. Shoaib stated that both were making fun of me that got me angry.
Shoaib Akhtar Family and Personal Life
Shoaib Akhtar Family still resides in Rawalpindi. He married in 2014 to Rubab. Both were blessed with a son recently as he announced in his tweet.
Shoaib Akhtar in Cricket Leagues:
He played in IPL 2008 for Kolkata Knight Riders; his merciless spell against Delhi DareDevils is still cherished by his cricket fans. Shoaib Akhtar also expressed his desire to own a PSL franchise that never became a reality because of financial issues and his attitude issues averting financiers to invest with him. Shoaib Akhtar lives most of the year in India and Dubai; he has an analyst contract with Star Sports on Indian series and World Tournaments.
Shoaib Akhtar played for three county clubs for season 2001, 2003, and 2004. He joined Somerset for summer season 2001, and Durham Club in 2003, he once shattered Somerset batting lineup taking 5 for 35 runs playing for Durham. He was even better in the next season. This time he signed for Worcestershire, his best figures of 6/16 in county cricket came out against Glamorgan. He had similar attitude problems in English County League.
An unusual record by Shoaib Akhtar is in batting; he has the world record of remaining not out in 12 consecutive innings in One Dat International Cricket. Shoaib has an extensive fighting career with international cricketers that include Rahul Dravid, Harbhajan Singh, and Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle and many other batsmen and bowlers.
Though he has a bad track record, he is still a friend to many international cricketers, especially Indian cricketers, and Bollywood stars; he is a fast friend to Bollywood King Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar. Shoaib is also an occasional analyst for Cricket for Geo News along with Sikandar Bakht and Muhammad Yousuf.