It would not be too much off the mark if Wasim Akram was to be referred to as the greatest left arm bowler to have graced the field. Javed Miandad’s eye for talent meant that Akram forced himself into the Pakistan National team even without playing any first class cricket. Picked out of nowhere, he went onto take ten wickets in the very second match he played in, and there was no looking back after that.
Starting as an out and out raw pace bowler, he learnt the tricks of the trade by playing more matches, and soon cut his long run up to the wicket to just a few paces. What he missed out on pace, he more than made up by his swing, seam and the various things he could impart to the red cherry, befuddling almost every batsman that faced him. A proponent of reverse swing, his sweet-sour relationship with Waqar Younis did not deter the pair from capturing a whopping 1705 international wickets. Akram started out as a decent bat, but his batting soon fell away, and although he did score a match saving 257 – hitting 12 sixes in the progress – the inning was a one off.
Akram did captain the Pakistani side on many occasions but allegations of match fixing, injuries, and problems with diabetes did not help his cause too much, as he retired from the game in 2003. He then joined a sports channel as a commentator, and has been a regular in the commentary box, well known for co-hosting the Shaz and Waz show with co-commentator, Ravi Shastri.
- Pakistan Vs New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland - Jan 25, 1985
- Last played:
- Pakistan Vs Bangladesh at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka - Jan 09, 2002
- Pakistan Vs New Zealand at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad - Nov 23, 1984
- Last played:
- Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe at Queen's Sports Club, Bulawayo - Mar 04, 2003