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Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has urged people to stop comparing India express bowler Umran Malik to Shoaib Akhtar.
Malik became a household name during this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), where he was clocked at speeds of 157 kph.
He finished as the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 22 wickets in 14 matches for the Sunrisers Hyderabad at an average of 20.18 and an economy rate of 9.03.
His strong performances earned him a call-up to India’s T20 squad and he made his international debut in the two-match T20 series against Ireland, where he picked up one wicket at an average of 56 and an economy rate of 11.20.
He then featured in a T20 International against England and finished with figures of 1-56 off his four overs.
Despite all the hype around Malik and the fact he is bowling close to 160 kph, Salman reiterated that until he plays more games, he shouldn’t be compared to some of the sport’s “top cricketers”.
Akhtar, who had an illustrious international career with Pakistan, was renowned for his bowling speed and still holds the record for the fastest ball bowled at 161.3 kph (100.2 mph).
“Let Umran play first, then you can compare him with top cricketers. I don’t think such comparisons can be done at this stage,” Salman said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Cricwick.
The 22-year-old was dropped for India’s five-match T20 series against the West Indies.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan team will be travelling to the Netherlands for a three-match ODI series from August 16 to 21.
They will then participate in the Asia Cup, which will be held in the UAE from August 27 to September 11.
Pakistan squad for Netherlands ODIs: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahid Mehmood
Pakistan squad for Asia Cup: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir