Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Pakistan pace bowler Farooq Hamid claimed that he bowled “around 110-115 miles per hour” during his playing days.
If this were true, that would mean he bowled 15 miles faster than Shoaib Akhtar’s record-breaking fastest delivery, which was clocked at 161.3 kph or 100.2 mph.
In fact, Hamid said that Zaheer Abbas, Sir Don Bradman and Imtiaz Ahmed “considered me as the fastest bowler”.
Despite his claims of bowling at scary pace, Hamid claimed that Hanif Mohammad and his brother Wazir were responsible for cutting his international career short and forcing him to retire at the age of 25.
“All my colleagues know what sort of treatment I was meted out from my captains, topping that list is great Hanif Mohammad — may God bless his soul — and his brother Wazir Mohammad, who made sure I never played international cricket after the tour to Australia,” Hamid, who only represented Pakistan in one Test match, told Dawn.
“When I took seven wickets for 16 runs against Wellington in a match (on the New Zealand tour), they were dismissed for 53 runs in just ten overs. However, everyone was surprised to see that I was not in the Pakistan team for the Test match that was played at the same venue after a couple of days. And neither was I included for the other two Tests played against New Zealand in that series.
“In 1963 when I was part of the Pakistan Eaglets team touring England, I had taken five wickets in three overs but my captain Wazir Mohammad did not give me the ball for further bowling against Lancashire at the Old Trafford ground. Later, Secretary MCC Mr. Howard told my manager that ‘today Farooq bowled a yard quicker than Truman at his best’.
“This and much more of the same treatment disheartened and demoralised me so much that I decided to quit cricket at the young age of just 25. Wazir, while facing me in a trophy match, was hit right on the mouth by my bouncer and four of his teeth were broken and his lip got ten stitches.
“Hanif, while facing me in 1969 final in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, was bowled with an out swinging yorker on the very third ball he faced. Many international cricket personalities such as great Sir Don Bradman besides or own Imtiaz Ahmed, Zaheer Abbas and others considered me as the fastest bowler, even faster than Charlie Griffith of the West Indies.
“Many leading cricketers were scared of my bouncers, but former Test batsman Mohammad Ilyas is one of those who could face my bouncers with better technique. Ilyas also proved a better hooker against Griffith, who toured Pakistan in 1963 with the Commonwealth team.
“On that tour, great batsman Rohan Kanhai was floored by my lethal bouncer. Later, the commentators said that I was much quicker than Griffith. I must have been bowling at around 110-115 miles per hour I think.
“Even Sir Don Bradman praised me as a fast bowler when I met him during the Australian tour and he also praised Ilyas for his century at Adelaide.”