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Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has admitted that he didn’t know who iconic India batsman Sachin Tendulkar was when he burst onto the scene.
The Rawalpindi Express noted that he was “lost in my own world” and only learned about the ‘Little Master’ through Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, who is now head coach of the national team.
Akhtar and Tendulkar had many memorable battles over the years and their rivalry was always ignited when India and Pakistan went head to head.
“Saqlain told me about Sachin Tendulkar and his stature. I did not know about him as I was lost in my own world. I only focused on what I will do and what the batter was thinking,” the fiery speedster, who still holds the record for the fastest ball bowled at 161.3 kph, was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
The Pakistan team just finished playing a T20 tri-series against New Zealand and Bangladesh in Christchurch, which they won after triumphing over New Zealand by five wickets in the final.
Their next assignment will be the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.
The men in green will start their campaign by facing India on October 23 in Melbourne.
Pakistan’s 2022 T20 World Cup squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shan Masood
Reserves: Mohammad Haris, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir