Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar makes astonishing claim about his bowling speed in his early days

Shoaib Akhtar revealed that he was once the slowest fast bowler in the Pakistan pace attack cricket

Shoaib Akhtar: “Out of the seven to eight fast bowlers, I was the least-quickest bowler in the world in the Pakistan attack at that time”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Legendary Pakistan seamer Shoaib Akhtar has surprisingly revealed that he was the slowest out of seven or eight fast bowlers in his early days.

Akhtar, who is one of the greatest fast bowlers Pakistan ever produced, still holds the record for the fastest delivery, which was clocked at 161.3 kph (100.2 mph) during Pakistan’s match against England in the 2003 World Cup.

However, back in the day, he was at the bottom of the list when it came to his bowling speed.

“I am telling you the fact and the truth. Out of the seven to eight fast bowlers, I was the least-quickest bowler in the world in the Pakistan attack at that time,” Akhtar told ESPNcricinfo’s video podcast as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.

“I will speak from the heart. I have told you about eight fast bowlers. Mohammad Zahid topped that list. Now imagine that I had to try to surpass them. You have to surpass the likes of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Not just surpass them, but make a name for yourself. What will you do?

“I started picking up qualities from each of them. I learnt how to sprint from one of them, learnt the bowling action from another, learnt bowling sense from one, learnt how to train from another, learnt how to gym from one, learnt how to talk from the other. I have always believed that one must have a good voice and you should know how to speak. I also believed that you needed to have an impactful personality.

“Once I came to the top, most people knew that I could do wonders and if I steered clear of controversies, then I could be something else.

“A lot of people used to tell me, ‘How can you replace Waqar? Are you mad? There are many who have attempted to do that and failed.’ I said, ‘No. You don’t understand. They never had my attitude.’ They asked me, ‘How?’ I said, ‘When I run in, I am going to own the ground.’ They asked me, ‘How are you going to do that?’ I said, ‘I am going to take wickets. I learnt the trade of how to take wickets.’ At the age of 16, we knew how to reverse swing the ball in the nets.”

Akhtar represented Pakistan in 46 Tests, where he took 178 wickets at an average of 25.69.

He also featured in 163 ODIs and claimed 247 wickets at an average of 24.97.

As for his T20 International career, the 44-year-old picked up 19 wickets in 15 matches at an average of 22.73.

ALSO CHECK OUT: I couldn’t bowl him out in 10 years – Which Pakistan player is Shoaib Akhtar talking about?

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