Biography of Wasim Akram:- Wasim Akram, one of the greatest fast bowlers Pakistan has ever produced. He is a prodigious bowler and a phenomenal test player and most of his records are still beyond the reach of any international bowler. He was a pioneer of reverse swing and fast bowling in Pakistan. Wasim began his cricket career unlikely with a direct entry in international cricket when spotted in a local talent hunt trial by Pakistan’s former captain and batting legend Javed Miandad. Javed made Wasim’s entry possible by giving him a chance in a One Day and Test series against New Zealand.
Biography of Wasim Akram
- Born:- 3 June 1966 (age 51), Lahore
- Height:- 1.88 m
- Education:- Islamia College
- Spouse:- Shaniera Thompson (m. 2013), Huma (m. 1995–2009)
- Children:- Akbar, Taimur
- Parents:- Begum Akram Chaudhry, Chaudhry Mohammad Akram
Wasim Akram Stats & Records
Wasim seized 414 wickets in test cricket, out of which 102 were clean bowled, most by any bowler in international cricket.
Unfortunately, Wasim Akram left international cricket in a similar fashion, he was given no farewell match neither any privileged goodbye ceremony was held by PCB to badesendoff to a legendary bowler, perhaps one of the greatest bowlers in test and ODI of all times.
Wasim Akram is a father of three, two sons and a daughter from two wives. His first wife Huma Mufti died of multiple organ failures in 2009; he married Shaniera Thompson in 2013. Wasim is titled ‘Sultan of Swing’ by his Pakistani and Indian fans; he is famous for his 4 hat-tricks in International cricket, a feat never achieved by any cricketer in international cricket. Wasim has the third-highest number of a man of the match awards in international cricket. He is the only bowler with 23 four-wicket hauls in ODIs.
Wasim’s master class and legacy are still being followed by young cricketers, Muhammad Aamir and Wahab Riaz, both equally good with inswing and outswing with the new and old ball. Wasim Akram’s primary target was to bowl with accuracy covering line and length beating the batsmen with accurate and focused Yorkers and good-length deliveries. Admitted by world-class batsmen of his era, there was no match for Wasim Akram in fast bowling. Viv Richards and Brian Lara termed him as the most dangerous batsmen they ever faced. Ricky Ponting described Wasim as the toughest and unplayable bowler.
Early Education and Career
Wasim was one of the Pakistani players who got a chance to play for international cricket team with his exceptional bowling accuracy and brutal pace and natural left-arm swing. Wasim Akram was born in Lahore on 3rdJune 1966 and got his early education from there in a local high school. The legend Imran Khan Seen Wasim Akram bowling in a local match then, Wasim Akram directly added to the national side for the 1984-85 seasons. He played his first ODI against New Zealand in a home series. In his second test match against New Zealand, Akram achieved a 10-wicket haul in 1985. Wasim took his first fiver-wicket haul against Australia in the same year. With loads of talent and skills getting polished with every passing day, English county club Lancashire signed him for 10-years in 1988. He was one of the favorite overseas players for English crowd, the crowd always chanted ‘Wasim for England’ when he came to bowl.
Unlike many sub-continental players, he struggled on Asian pitches at the dawn of his career. 1987 World Cup was a test period for Wasim’s skilled that he unfortunately failed; it was a time for Wasim to reconsider his bowling strategy. He was wise enough to develop bowling skills that could help him in every form of the game and on every pitch. Bensen and Hedges World Series in 1988 was a start of a lustrous and unforgettable era of cricket known as the era of Fast bowling, a dawn of bowling dominance in South Asia led by two WW’s, Wasim and Waqar.
By 1988, Wasim Akram had manufactured some of his deliveries that were unplayable for most of theinternational batsmen and were often labeled as a result of ball tampering, English media often alleged him off ball tempering. After recovering from a groin injury in 1988, he rested for two years and came back as more lethal and practically unplayable bowler, his bowling average during that period was phenomenal.
Wasim achieved 100-wickets in his fourth year of international cricket. 1989-1990 seasons, he took two consecutive hat-tricks against West Indies and Australia, all the batsmen were clean bowled in both the hat-tricks. His economy rate was world’s best i.e. 3.9 per over averaging 22.71 bowls per wicket.
Wasim Akram in World Cup 1992
Wasim Akram continued influencing selectors and Pakistan fans when he became the best bowler in 1992 World Cup that resulted in a World Cup win for Pakistan under the captaincy of Imran Khan. In his match-winning performance in 1992 World Cup final against England, Wasim shattered English batting ordered with his reverse swing, he was unstoppable when he came back for a second spell. He swung the ball left to right and vice versa even both ways in a single delivery that English bowlers had no chance but to defend or give their wickets. Imran Khan and Waqar Younis gave full support on other ends. His back-to-back magical deliveries to Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis that turned the tables for Pakistan are still memorable to both English and Pakistani fans. Wasim was a man of the match in the final for his three crucial wickets and useful 33 off 19 balls.
Post-World Cup Career
Wasim completed his 200th wicket the same year against South Africa; it was another impressive 5-wicket haul this time. It took 143 matches for Wasim to complete his 200th wicket. The year 1993 was his best year in ODI cricket, he amassed 46 wickets, his career-best in ODI with 3.8 economies. Wasim became a successor to Imran’s legacy, he deserved to become a captain. Still, he was not as impressive as Imran Khan. After becoming a captain in 1993, he was trapped in controversies, drug abuse, and matching fixing was few of the several charges on him. Pakistan lost a quarterfinal to India, Akram was dropped from that match.
Wasim Akram made a brilliant double century in a Test match against Zimbabwe, a record having most runs made by a number-8 batsman in test cricket. His blistering knock included 12 sixes, most by any player in Test cricket, another world record no one has broken until now.
Pakistan had a brilliant world cup campaign in 1999, under Wasim’s captaincy Pakistan was looking unstoppable until they choked in a final against Australia. Pakistan performed worse than ever, worst by any team in a final match of Cricket World Cup when they were outclassed by Kangaroos in batting, bowling, and fielding. Pakistan were all out on 132 in 39 over’s, Ijaz Ahmed was the highest run-scorer for Pakistan with 22 runs. The unpredictable Pakistan failed in every department, they bowled poorly giving a smooth ride to home for Australia. Australia reached 133 marks in 20.1 overs winning by 8 wickets.
Wasim Akram’s once-sunny career started sinking after 1999 world cup. He was not as active as he used to be before the World Cup. His performances between the year 1999-2003 and after were not so impressive, he started becoming predictable and ineffective in ODI cricket. Wasim was demoted from captaincy, given a role of a specialized all-rounder for 2003 world cup under the captaincy of his best friend Waqar Younis, Inzamam being the vice-captain. Pakistan lost to India, England, and Australia winning against Namibia and Netherlands. Its match with Zimbabwe was canceled due to rain. From a World Cup final to not even qualifying for Super sixes, Pakistan team raised eyebrows of the selectors and Pakistani fans.
A clean-up operation removed eight senior players from Pakistan Cricket Team including Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shahid Afridi, Inzamam, Saqlain Mushtaq, Saeed Anwar, Azhar Mahmood, and Shoaib Akhtar. Most of them never returned to the international arena. Wasim Akram retired from international cricket, he was deprived of a farewell match. He finished his 20-year bowling career and collected 502 wickets, most wickets by any player at that time. Muttiah Muralitharan is the only player to pass Wasm’s 500-wickets landmark in international cricket. Wasim Akram continued his contract with English County cricket club Hampshire for 2003 season.
Wasim Akram in IPL
IPL signed him in as a bowling coach for 2010 season, he mentored the franchise for 5 years, and he is still serving as a mentor for KKR. Akram did great in polishing young bowlers of India that helped them in international cricket. One of his best students were Muhammad Shami and Umesh Yadav, they learned and implemented every single trick from the master of swing in IPL. Zaheer Khan, India’s “very own Wasim Akram” admitted he gotten it all from Wasim Bhai. Wasim is the most respected Pakistani cricketer in India. Wasim served as an official commentator for three seasons of Indian Premier League. An attempt to include a 7-foot tall Muhammad Irfan in the 2010 season of IPL can only be credited to Wasim Akram.
Wasim Akram in PSL
Wasim is the brand ambassador and a prominent figure in converting PSL dream to reality along with his former teammate Ramiz Raja. Wasim persuaded few of the greatest batsmen in the history to mentor PSL franchises, he is a director, head coach and bowling mentor of Islamabad United, defending champions of Pakistan Super League. Wasim worked as a part-time bowling consultant for Pakistan cricket team before World Cup 2015, he often provides useful tips to Pakistani fast bowlers on international tours and ICC tournaments.
Wasim Akram is endorsed by PCB for hunting some great fast bowling talents for Pakistan. A Pakistani left-arm fast bowler Muhammad Aamir and brilliant batsman and fielder Fawad Alam are few among his productions. Wasim polished and assisted Muhammad Irfan to utilize his height and long arms with accuracy.
Wasim Akram Family and Personal Life
Wasim married Huma Mufti in 1995 in a private wedding ceremony held in Lahore. He has two sons Taimoor and Akbar from Huma. Huma died on 25TH October 2009 in Apollo Hospital in Chennai, the reason was multiple organ failures. Wasim Akram had a huge setback on Huma’s death, he canceled all the commentator contracts for 2009-2010. A year and a half after his wife died, he started dating Australian lady Shaniera Thompson in 2011. Wasim converted her to Islam before marriage, the marriage ceremony held in Lahore in a private ceremony. Both have a daughter Ayla Akram born on 27th December 2014. The couple shifted from Lahore to Karachi for a new start Wasim Akram needed for years.
Wasim Akram TV Appearances:
Wasim Akram is an official commentator in ICC commentator’s panel; he is the official analyst for Ten Sports and PTV Sports Network. Wasim regularly appears on Pakistani news channels, he is a sports analyst on ARY and Geo. He is hosting a TV program “The Sportsman Show” featuring legendary sportsmen and sportswomen of Pakistan. The icons tell about their struggles and achievements throughout the career.
Match-fixing Scandal & Controversies:
Wasim Akram was in the limelight for his match-fixing scandal after 2003 World Cup, some say that match-fixing was the reason he was dumped from the national side after 2003 World Cup. Wasim strongly retaliated on the allegations made by English and Pakistani media. An inquiry commission headed by a Lahore high court judge told media that Wasim never cooperated with the board of inquiry, and they couldn’t find much evidence against him in the hearings.
Wasim, along with two of his teammates were caught in West Indies with two British tourists and a significant amount of Marijuana by Caribbean Police. Wasim Akram was believed to be a spot fixer since 1996 by investigations held by English media. It is believed by Pakistan cricket fans that Wasim was atleast involved in spot-fixing if not match fixing as a captain. The main character in the Pakistani trio spot-fixingcase and an undercover journalist Mazhar Majeed stated that Wasim, Waqar, Moin Khan, and Ijaz Ahmad were also involved in match-fixing. According to an independent and open survey held by Express Tribune, a top Pakistani news agency, 85% of the people believed that Wasim Akram along with other named players was actually involved in spot-fixing in the late 90s and early 2000s.