Shoaib Akhtar: Wikis


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Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar.jpg
Personal information
Full name Shoaib Akhtar
Born 13 August 1975 (1975-08-13) (age 34)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Nickname The Rawalpindi Express
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Batting style Right handed
Bowling style Right arm fast
Role Bowler
International information
National side Pakistan
Test debut (cap 150) 29 November 1997 v West Indies
Last Test 8 December 2007 v India
ODI debut (cap 123) 28 March 1998 v Zimbabwe
Last ODI 3 May 2009 v Australia
Career statistics
Competition Test cricket One Day International First-class cricket List A cricket
Matches 46 144 133 195
Runs scored 544 373 1,670 811
Batting average 10.07 9.81 12.27 12.10
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/1 0/1
Top score 47 43 59* 56
Balls bowled 8,143 6,798 20,460 9,306
Wickets 178 223 467 301
Bowling average 25.69 21.85 21.26 21.46
5 wickets in innings 12 4 28 6
10 wickets in match 2 n/a 2 n/a
Best bowling 6/11 6/16 6/11 6/16
Catches/stumpings 12/– 17/– 41/– 30/–
Source: CricketArchive, 9 May 2009

Shoaib Akhtar (Punjabi, Urdu: شعیب اختر; born 13 August 1975 in Rawalpindi, Punjab) is a Pakistani right arm fast bowler and is one of the fastest bowlers in the world. He set a world record by achieving a 161.3 kilometres (100.2 mph) bowling speed, twice at a cricket game. His ability to bowl fast yorkers and sharp bouncers have made him lethal, even on dead pitches.

However, he has never been far from cricket controversy, often accused of not being a team player. Shoaib was sent back home from a tour in Australia in 2005. A year later he was embroiled in a drug scandal after testing positive for a banned substance. However, the ban imposed on him was lifted on appeal. In September 2007, Shoaib was banned by the PCB for an indefinite period for the alleged brawl with his team-mate Mohammad Asif.[1] On 1 April 2008 Shoaib was banned for five years for publicly criticizing the policies of the Pakistan Cricket Board.[2] As of October 2008, the Lahore High Court has suspended the 5 year ban until the hearing for the case takes place and Shoaib has been named in the 15-man squad for the Twenty20 Quadrangular Tournament in Canada.[3]


Early years

Shoaib was born at Morgah, a small town near Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan. His father was a worker in Attock Oil Refinery, Morgah. His father being a Punjabi while shoaib mother an ethnic pakhtoon. Shoaib started his studies at Elliott High School, Morgah and then took admission in the Asghar Mall College, Rawalpindi. There he was given the chance to show off his talent and consequently come into the limelight.

Cricket career

Shoaib's run of impressive performances started in 1999 in a pre-World Cup series against India when he shot to prominence. It was followed by outstanding bowling displays in Sharjah and later in 1999 Cricket World Cup. His memorable performance came in India in 1999 when, as a newcomer to the Pakistan team, he took eight wickets in the Asian Test championship match at Calcutta – including the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid off successive deliveries. This was Shoaib's first encounter with Sachin Tendulkar in which Shoaib bowled him for the first ball he delivered to Sachin.

Later in 2002 he fared a spirited bowling attack against Australia. The 2003 World Cup was a huge disappointment, especially given the hype, after which he was dropped from the team. He came back in the team with a bang in the 2004 series against New Zealand but struggled in a lost series against India in 2004. The series ended with a controversy when he left the field citing an injury leading to suspicions by the captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, about his commitment. As a result, his relationship with Inzamam-ul-Haq and the coach Bob Woolmer deteriorated. A medical panel set up by PCB to investigate the nature of his injury, however, dispelled all suspicions.[4]

In 2005, Shoaib regained his reputation as a potent bowler for his side. Playing in a three-Test home series against England, he made a series of impressive bowling efforts on lifeless pitches. His effective use of slower ball proved to be unplayable by English batsmen. He emerged as the highest wicket taker of the series with seventeen wickets. His comeback was also remarkable as prior to his return, he had been criticized from all corners-such as by the Worcestershire chairman John Elliot-for his prima donna attitude and lack of commitment to team. His performance was also acknowledged by the English captain Michael Vaughan, who remarked "I thought he (Shoaib) was a big difference between the two teams".[5] He is also known as the bowler who broke the 100 mph barrier in cricket bowling history, with a delivery of 100.2 mph, and this delivery at stands as the fastest recorded to date.

On October 29, 2007 Akhtar made his comeback from his 13-match ban and performed well, taking 4-43 against South Africa in the fifth and deciding ODI in Lahore. Subsequently, he was included in the 16-man Pakistan squad for the 2007 tour of India, which he completed successfully without further incident.

Justice Rana Bhagwandas stated once that Shoaib Akhtar is the legend of Pakistani cricket.[6]

County cricket

Shoaib Akhtar signing an autograph

Shoaib has played for three counties in English county cricket: Somerset (2001), Durham (2003 and 2004) and Worcestershire (2005). He did have his moments of success (for example, taking 5-35 for Durham against Somerset in the National League in 2003, and claiming 6-16 in the same competition for Worcestershire against Glamorgan two years later) but he suffered from fitness problems, as well as a perception that he was less than interested in his task. This was particularly the case at Worcestershire: chairman John Elliott said "Players like that are no good to our club. In fact, Shoaib has been no good for any club he's been at. He's a superstar and just does what he wants."[7]

Indian Premier League

Shoaib made a strong comeback in his first game in the IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Delhi Daredevils. Defending a low score of 133, Shoaib took four top order wickets which ultimately led to the Daredevils being restricted to 110. He ended with figures of 4-11 from three overs, a performance which earned him the player of the match award.[8][9] Shoaib denied that he had any point to prove with his performance, stating, "I just wanted to win the game." Knight Riders' captain Sourav Ganguly also acknowledged Shoaib's performance, "He came to the country with lots [of things] happening behind him...But he showed a lot of character."[10] It has been widely reported that the Knight Riders have released Akhtar from his IPL contract due to his injury history but the Knight Riders' officials have denied these reports and said they are still in talks with the fast bowler[11].

International bowling records

Test five-wicket Hauls

Test five-wicket Hauls
Number Figures Match Against City/Country Venue Season
1 5/43 3 South Africa Durban, S.A. Kingsmead 1998
2 5/75 13 Sri Lanka Peshawar, Pakistan Arbab Niaz Stadium 1999
3 5/24 16 West Indies Sharjah, UAE Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium 2002
4 6/11 19 Australia Colombo, Sri Lanka PSS 2002
5 6/50 25 Bangladesh Peshawar, Pakistan Arbab Niaz Stadium 2003
6 5/48 27 New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Basin Reserve 2003
7 6/30 27 New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Basin Reserve 2003
8 5/60 30 Sri Lanka Faisalabad, Pakistan Iqbal Stadium 2004
9 5/99 31 Australia Perth, Australia WACA Ground 2004
10 5/109 32 Australia Melbourne, Australia MCG 2004
11 5/71 36 England Lahore, Pakistan Gaddafi Stadium 2005

Test Ten-wicket Hauls

Test ten-wicket Hauls
Number Match Figures Match Against City/Country Venue Season
1 10/80 25 Bangladesh Peshawar, Pakistan Arbab Niaz Stadium 2003
2 11/78 27 New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Basin Reserve 2003

ODI five-wicket Hauls

ODI five-wicket Hauls
Number Match Figures Match Against City/Country Venue Season
1 5/19 42 New Zealand Karachi, Pakistan National Stadium 2001
2 6/16 60 New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Basin Reserve 2002
3 5/25 64 Australia Australia, Australia GABBA Ground 2002
4 5/54 127 England Lahore, Pakistan Gaddafi Stadium 2005

Cricket controversies and injuries

Shoaib's career has been plagued with injuries, controversies, and accusations of bad attitude. After shooting to stardom at a young age due to his devastating pace, he became more interested in glamour rather than cementing his career. Although he eventually crossed the 100 mph barrier, his attitude took its toll on his reputation as well as his fitness. After a poor showing in the 2003 World Cup, he got involved in a verbal spat with then captain Waqar Younis. Later he was axed along with other players, including Younis. In a triangular series in 2003 in Sri Lanka, he was caught tampering with the ball, making him the second player ever to be banned on ball tampering charges. The same year he was banned for one Test and two ODIs for abusing Paul Adams in a match against South Africa. In the 2004 home series with India, he struggled with wrist and back injuries, which raised questions about their authenticity. During the final Test he cited injury and chose not to bowl halfway through but was met with raised eyebrows when he later turned up to bat, apparently enjoying himself. Although his injuries were not proved to be fake, his reputation suffered, especially after Haq's outburst in a post match press conference. His relationship with the captain and the coach deteriorated further partially due to his manipulative nature and partially due to politics.

He was sent back from the 2005 Australia tour with a hamstring injury amid rumors of indiscipline, lack of commitment, and attitudinal complaints. He was subsequently fined by the PCB for avoiding a late night curfew.[12] At this point, once loved Shoaib was reviled alike by teammates, opponents and cricket fans. The rest of his career was riddled with ankle and knee injuries which forced him to undergo a surgery in February 2006, until finally he was banned for two years for using performance enhancing drugs.

In November 2006, the liaison officer assigned to the Pakistani team in India, Anil Kaul, alleged that Shoaib had slapped coach Bob Woolmer following a fight over the music to be played in the team bus on the eve of ICC Champions Trophy. Both Shoaib and Woolmer have, however, strongly denied the allegations.[13]

Drug scandal

On October 16, 2006 Shoaib was suspended by the PCB, along with Mohammed Asif after the pair were tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance nandrolone.[14] They were consequently pulled from the ICC Champions Trophy 2006.[15] Former PCB chairman later stated that he had always suspected Shoaib of substance abuse due to his consistent "reservations" to drug tests.[16] Pakistan captain Inzamam ul Haq had also previously complained about Shoaib's drug abuse but was not acted upon by the PCB.[17] Pakistan news reports state that federal capital police had arrested Shoaib along with drugs some three years ago. Shoaib was then reportedly seen participating in the smoking of marijuana at a night club, violating the curfew for the team in their Test series against England.[17]

Shoaib immediately declared his innocence and he declined knowingly taking any performance enhancing drugs. In a statement issued to the press, he claimed that he could never cheat team-mates or opponents.[18] During a hearing with the PCB Anti-Doping Committee (ADC), he along with Asif maintained taking non-steroidal dietary supplements.[19] He, however, failed to convince the committee of his innocence. In its report submitted to PCB, ADC recommended a two year ban.[20]

On November 1, 2006 PCB handed down a two-year suspension to Shoaib and a one-year suspension to Mohammad Asif, banning them from professional cricket during the period.[21] Shoaib had subsequently been added to Pakistan Olympic Association list of doping offenders.[22] However, on December 5, 2006 represented by his lawyer Abid Hassan Minto, Shoaib was cleared on appeal.[23]


On December 5, 2006 Shoaib and Mohammad Asif were acquitted by the tribunal appointed to review their appeals against the drugs ban imposed on them by an earlier committee. After a clear hearing from Shoib's lawyer, Mr. Abid Hassan Minto, the three-man committee, headed by Justice Fakhruddin Ebrahim, voted two to one in favour of the acquittal. Haseeb Ahsan, former Test cricketer, and Ebrahim were in favour of the acquittal while the third member, Danish Zaheer, dissented. “Exceptional circumstances” were cited including discrepancies between the instantaneous offence charges of doping that were laid and the quick delivery of a very harsh verdict. The complete drug testing procedure was concluded to have been technically flawed as it did not follow standard procedures. Other established facts by the committee included that the duo were not aware of the banned drug to be present in their supplements because PCB itself had not informed them of the dangers of contaminated supplements.[24][25]

Both Shoaib and Mohammed Asif were thankful to the PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf for giving them a fair trial and their team mates, captain, and coach for the moral support. They did not however play in the 2006 Nov-Dec West Indies vs. Pakistan series held in Pakistan because the PCB has recommended that they play domestic games first to recover form and fitness.[1]

However, WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency was to challenge Pakistan's decision to lift bans on fast bowlers Shoaib and Mohammad Asif by taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.[2] The ICC, cricket's world governing body, has supported the WADA appeal adding that it was committed to a dope free game.[3]

On March 1, 2007 Shoaib and Asif were ruled out of the Pakistani squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup by team officials, minutes before the squad was to depart for the West Indies. The team management along with the PCB said their injuries were too severe to risk taking them to the Caribbean. Since neither of the two had been declared fit they had not undergone official doping tests.[26]

On July 2, 2007 the Court of Arbitration for Sport dropped the case, ruling it had no jurisdiction to challenge the decision made by PCB.[27][28]

On May 21, 2009, Shoaib Akhtar was dropped from his country's World Championship Twenty20 squad because of genital viral warts, previously reported as a skin infection.[29]

Other controversies

In August 2007, Shoaib is reported to have used foul language against PCB protesting the imposing of fine of Rs. 300,000 for indiscipline during the national camp in Karachi.[30]

In the week before the inaugural World Twenty20, held in South Africa, Shoaib was rumoured to have hit fellow Pakistani teammate Mohammad Asif with a bat, leaving a bruise on his left thigh. According to sources, the two were involved in a dressing room spat which resulted in Asif being struck by a bat on his left thigh. Sources said the fight between the two started after Asif and Shahid Afridi disagreed with Shoaib that he shared the same stature as Imran Khan in Pakistan cricket and even ridiculed him for making such a comparison.[31] The injury was not thought to be anything more serious than a bruise but a team investigation into the matter was pending.[32] After the initial inquiry, it would found that Shoaib was at fault and he was subsequently recalled from the Twenty20 World Cup squad[33] and was sent home.[34] He was also banned for 5 matches by the PCB and a lifetime ban may also seem imminent.[35] Shoaib later claimed that Afridi was responsible for the fight, saying "He made some ill remarks about my family. And I could not tolerate them." Afridi however, denied these allegations adding that Asif would have suffered more injuries but for his intervention.[36] Even Asif chipped in saying that Shoaib was lying and that "Shahid Afridi had nothing to do with the fight." saying that "he has not apologised to me."[37] Shoaib later patched up with his team mates including Shahid Afridi & Mohammad Asif

On April 1, 2008 Akhtar was banned for five years for violating the players' code of conduct. The ban extended to all cricket for and in Pakistan.[38] Despite the ban not preventing him from playing in the Indian Premier League, the IPL governing council decided not to allow Shoaib to play in the tournament until the end of the ban or unless it is lifted. IS Bindra, a member of the council, was quoted as saying, "Even though they [the PCB] have cleared him to play for IPL, we felt that international discipline needs to be respected."[39] Meanwhile, Shoaib vowed to go to great lengths to fight the ban, "I will appeal, as is my right. If that fails I will go to court, if that fails then I will go to the Supreme Court."[40] On April 3, PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf served a legal notice on Shoaib, calling on him to retract statements he made to a news channel, alleging the ban was punishment in return for refusing to give the chairman a share of his earnings from the Indian Premier League, Ashraf also sought damages of Rs100 million (approximately US$1.6 million) for "defaming him personally" and an additional Rs100 million to the PCB for "sullying the name of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan Cricket team."[41] A three-man appellate tribunal announced on April 30 that they had temporarily upheld Shoaib's five-year ban, deciding to revist the appeal hearing in June.[42] Despite Shoaib later retracting his claims and also issuing an unconditional apology for "any grief or embarrassment that may have been caused to the nation, particularly to the PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf", Ashraf's legal counsel filed a Rs22 crore (approx US$3.37 million) defamation suit against Shoaib in a civil court in Lahore on May 2.[43] On May 4, the PCB's appellate tribunal suspended the five-year ban for one month, until they reconvene on June 4, allowing Shoaib to take part in the ongoing IPL.[44] A day later, the PCB announced that they will no longer pursue the defamation suit following a reconciliation between Shoaib and chairman Nasim Ashraf at the house of Rehman Malik, a key political official, in Islamabad. "My honour has been vindicated and now the defamation lawsuit will not be pursued," Ashraf was quoted as saying.[45]

Shoaib Akhtar was on September 4, 2008 sent home by British immigration officials after landing at Heathrow airport without a valid working visa, authorities said he could not play without a working visa, though Akhtar had a valid visa to visit England but not a working visa, which is a prerequisite to play in county cricket. He subsequently obtained the necessary visa and returned for a short stint with English county side Surrey.[46]

Akhtar also threatened to sue the Pakistan Cricket Board after it was revealed that he had contracted a sexually transmitted disease (genital warts) and thus dropped from the 2009 world Twenty20 championship.[47]

In December 2009 Akhtar was accused of having Liposuction to slim down to try and be selected for the tour of Australia. Akhtar denied these claims although his doctor confirmed they were true.

See also


  1. ^ "PCB bans Shoaib Akhtar for an indefinite period". 
  2. ^ Shoaib Akhtar gets 5-year ban for foul delivery | It's unfair
  3. ^ "Shoaib in for Canada, not Yousuf". 
  4. ^ "Bone scan puts Akhtar in the clear". 2004. Retrieved 2006-04-10. 
  5. ^ "Vaughan - Batsmen to blame". 2004. Retrieved 2006-04-10. 
  6. ^ Rediffnews. "The law is equal for everyone in Pakistan". "I have little interest in cricket. People are crazy about cricket and we feel happy when our country wins. The names of Hanif Mohammad, Imran Khan, Shoaib Akhtar all come to my mind once I think about cricket. These are legends of Pakistani cricket" 
  7. ^ Steve Pittard and John Stern (2007-05-24). "Dodgy overseas signings". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-05-24. 
  8. ^ Indian Premier League - 35th match, Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils. Retrieved on 2008-05-14.
  9. ^ Shoaib leads Delhi drubbing. Retrieved on 2008-05-14.
  10. ^ I have no point to prove - Shoaib. Retrieved on 2008-05-14.
  11. ^ Knight Riders still in talks with Akhtar, February 3, 2009
  12. ^ ABC Sport - Cricket - Pakistan's Akhtar fined for Australian disco jaunt
  13. ^ Shoaib slapped coach Woolmer over i-Pod song - News - News - Indiatimes Cricket
  14. ^ Cricinfo - Asif and Akhtar to return home
  15. ^ Staff writers and wires (2006-10-16). "Shoaib returns positive test". FOX SPORTS Australia.,8659,20589658-23212,00.html. 
  16. ^ Shoaib never co-operated for dope tests: Shaharyar - News - News - Indiatimes Cricket
  17. ^ a b Pakistan News Service - PakTribune
  18. ^ BBC SPORT | Cricket | Shocked Shoaib protests innocence
  19. ^ Cricinfo - Sad but we had to make an example of Shoaib - Alam
  20. ^ Pakistan Cricket Board - official website
  21. ^ Cricinfo - Shoaib and Asif banned for drugs use
  22. ^,2106,3847919a10133,00.html
  23. ^ Cricinfo - Shoaib and Asif acquitted
  24. ^ Cricinfo - Shoaib and Asif acquitted
  25. ^ Cricinfo - Dope on the doping scandal
  26. ^ Shoaib and Asif out of the World Cup:
  27. ^ Court has no jurisdiction in doping case. Retrieved on 2007-07-03.
  28. ^ Court cannot rule on Pakistan duo. Retrieved on 2007-07-03.
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Shoaib uses foul language to protest PCB decision". 
  31. ^ Shoaib hits Asif with bat, thrown out of team September 8, 2007 - The Indian Express
  32. ^ "Asif injured in dressing room spat by Akhtar". 
  33. ^ Pakistan recalls Shoaib after Twenty20 World Cup bust up September 7, 2007 Reuters
  34. ^ Shoaib to be sent home after incident
  35. ^ Shoaib banned for five matches September 8, 2007 Daily Times
  36. ^ Cricket-Pakistan's Akhtar accuses Afridi of instigating spat | Sports | Cricket | Reuters
  37. ^ Shoaib is not speaking the truth: Asif
  38. ^ Shoaib banned for five years. Retrieved on 2008-05-04.
  39. ^ Shoaib cannot play in IPL. Retrieved on 2008-05-04.
  40. ^ 'I have been victimised' - Shoaib. Retrieved on 2008-05-04.
  41. ^ Ashraf files legal notice against Shoaib. Retrieved on 2008-05-04.
  42. ^ Shoaib's five-year ban upheld. Retrieved on 2008-05-04.
  43. ^ Ashraf files defamation suit against Shoaib. Retrieved on 2008-05-04.
  44. ^ Shoaib cleared to play in IPL. Retrieved on 2008-05-04.
  45. ^ PCB softens stance on Shoaib. Retrieved on 2008-05-05.
  46. ^ Akhtar returns home after visa hitch. Retrieved on 2008-09-04.
  47. ^ Shoaib Akhtar's genital warts keep him out of Pakistan's World Twenty 20 squad. Retrieved on 2009-08-10.

External links

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