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Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram.jpg
Personal information
Full name Wasim Akram
Born 3 June 1966 (1966-06-03) (age 43)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Nickname Sultan of Swing
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Batting style Left handed batsman
Bowling style Left arm fast
Role (All rounder) bowler and batsman
International information
National side Pakistan
Test debut (cap 102) 25 January 1985 v New Zealand
Last Test 9 January 2002 v Bangladesh
ODI debut (cap 53) 23 November 1984 v New Zealand
Last ODI 4 March 2003 v Zimbabwe
ODI shirt no. 3
Domestic team information
Years Team
2003 Hampshire
2000/01 Lahore Blues
1997/98 Lahore City
1992/93–2001/02 Pakistan International Airlines
1988–1998 Lancashire
1986/87 Lahore City
1985/86 Lahore City Whites
1984/85–1985/86 Pakistan Automobiles Corporation
Career statistics
Competition Test cricket One Day International First-class cricket List A cricket
Matches 104 356 257 594
Runs scored 2898 3717 7161 6993
Batting average 22.64 16.52 22.73 18.90
100s/50s 3/7 0/6 7/24 0/17
Top score 257* 86 257* 89*
Balls bowled 22627 18186 50278 29719
Wickets 414 502 1042 881
Bowling average 23.62 23.52 21.64 21.91
5 wickets in innings 25 6 70 12
10 wickets in match 5 0 16 0
Best bowling 7/119 5/15 8/30 5/10
Catches/stumpings 44/0 88/0 97/0 147/0
Source: CricketArchive, 11 January 2008

Wasim Akram (Punjabi, Urdu: وسیم اکرم; born June 3, 1966 in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan) is a World Cup-winning former Pakistani cricketer. He was a left arm fast bowler and left-handed batsman, who represented the Pakistani cricket team in Tests and One Day Internationals. He was educated at Islamia College, Lahore.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers ever, Akram holds world records for the most wickets taken in List A cricket (881), and is second only to Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of ODI wickets (502). He is considered to be one of the pioneers of reverse swing bowling.[1][2][3] The revolutionary nature of reverse swing initially resulted in accusations of ball tampering, although reverse swing has now been accepted as a legitimate feature of the game. Akram's later career was also tarnished with accusations of match fixing, although these remain unproven.

On 30 September 2009, Wasim Akram was one of five new members inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.[4]

Contents

Domestic career

Wasim signed for Lancashire in 1988 and went on to become their most successful overseas players. From 1988 to 1998, he spearheaded their attack in their NatWest Trophy, Benson & Hedges Cup and Sunday League winning sides. He was a favourite of the local fans who used to sing a song called "Wasim for England" at Lancashire's matches.

International career

Wasim made his Test debut for Pakistani cricket team against New Zealand in early 1985 and in only his second Test he made his presence felt with a ten-wicket haul. Like a few other Pakistani cricketers of his time, he was identified at club level and bypassed first-class domestic competition, entering international cricket directly. A few weeks prior to his selection into the Pakistani team, he was an unknown club cricketer who had failed to even make it to his college team. He came to the trials at Qaddafi Stadium Lahore, but for the first two days he did not get a chance to bowl. On the third day he got the chance and the observers around him saw the potential and was spotted by Javed Miandad, and as a result of his insisting was it that Wasim was given an opportunity to play for Pakistan. Later that season he paired with Imran Khan, who became his mentor, at the World Championship of Cricket in Australia.

He was an immediate darling of the cricketing circles of Pakistan and Worldwide. In 1987 World Cup, when Pakistan played West Indies, Wasim bowled to Viv Richards in the late overs of the innings but Richards, regarded as the best and most destructive batsman of his era, could not score quickly off him. Richards later paid credit to Wasim's quality yorkers.

Wasim's rise in international cricket was rapid during the initial years. When Pakistan toured the West Indies in 1988, he looked to be the quickest bowler between the two sides. However, a serious groin injury impeded his career in the late 1980s. Following two surgeries, he re-emerged in 1990 as a bowler who focused more on swing and control than speed.

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One-Day success

Wasim was instrumental in Pakistan's famous World Cup victory in 1992 in Australia. In the final against England his late flurry of an innings, 33 off 19 balls, pushed Pakistan to a respectable 249 for 6. Wasim then took the all-important wicket of Ian Botham early on, and when brought back into the attack later on, with the ball reverse swinging, he produced a devastating spell which led to Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis being bowled in successive deliveries. His excellent performances earned him the Man of the Match award for the final.[5][6]

He also captained Pakistan with some success. The high points of his captaincy were the 1996-97 victory in the World Series in Australia, two Test match wins in India in 1998-99 and in 1999, when Pakistan reached the World Cup final for the second time. The low point was the 1996 World Cup in Pakistan and India, when he had to pull out of the crucial quarter final match against India, citing injury. After Pakistan's defeat, there were angry protests outside his homes, and riots across the country from angry fans who accused the team of throwing the match, and a government inquiry was launched into the failure.

In 1999, he led Pakistan to the brink of victory in the World Cup before they capitulated and were crushed by Australia in the final by eight wickets with almost 30 overs to spare. This was the start of the match-fixing controversies, as people believed Wasim had set up the match for Australia. None of the allegations could be proved.

He was Pakistan's top bowler in the 2003 World Cup taking 19 wickets in 7 matches. However, Pakistan failed to reach the "Super Six" phase of the tournament, and Wasim was one of the eight players to be sacked by the Pakistan Cricket Board as a result.

Wasim was diagnosed with diabetes at the peak of his career, but despite the initial psychological blow, he managed to regain his form and went on to produce fine cricketing displays. Since then he has actively sought to be involved in various awareness-raising campaigns for diabetes. .[7]

Playing style

Over my 15 or 16 years of playing international cricket in Tests and one-day internationals, Wasim Akram is definitely the most outstanding bowler I've ever faced.

— Former West Indies batsman Brian Lara.[8]

An immensely talented player first discovered by Javed Miandad, Wasim played for his college (Govt. Islamia College Civil Lines, Lahore) as an opening bowler and batsman. Early on in his career, he bowled with genuine pace and hostility. Wasim possessed accurate control of line and length and seam position, and could swing the ball both in and out. With a very deceptive ball-concealing action, he could bowl equally well from both sides of the wicket. His mastery of reverse swing with the old ball meant he was at his most dangerous towards the end of an innings, and earned him the nicknames like the Sultan of Swing

As well as often being able to find the edge of the bat, Wasim would also focus his attack on the stumps and had a particularly lethal inswinging yorker. Of his 414 Test wickets, 193 were taken caught, 119 were taken LBW and 102 were bowled.[9][10][11] In partnership with Waqar Younis, he intimidated international batsmen in the 1990s. Together Wasim and Waqar, known as "the two Ws" of the Pakistani team, were one of the most successful bowling partnerships ever.[12]

Wasim was also skilled with the bat and was regarded as a bowling all-rounder. He was especially effective against spinners. However, he liked to slog and was criticised for his lack of big scores and giving away his wicket too cheaply for a player of his talent. He did silence his critics in October 1996 when he scored 257, not out, of the team's total of 553 against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura. He also made good scores in difficult times for the Pakistan team such as his 123 against Australia and his 45 not-out to take Pakistan to victory in a low-scoring match. Pakistan, needing six runs in two balls to win the Nehru Cup saw Wasim come out to bat, the first ball he faced was hit out of the ground and secured the cup.

Records

  • In his Test career, Wasim took 414 wickets in 104 matches, a Pakistani record, at an average of 23.62, and scored 2,898 runs, at an average of 22.64.[13]
  • In One Day Internationals, Wasim took 502 wickets in 356 appearances, at an average of 23.52, and scored 3,717 runs, at an average of 16.52.[2]
  • Wasim was the first bowler in international cricket to take more than 400 wickets in both forms of the game, and only Muttiah Muralitharan has since achieved this.[2][13]
  • Wasim also held the record for the most wickets in Cricket World Cups — a total of 55 in 38 matches. Australia's Glenn McGrath broke the record during the 2007 World Cup, ending with a final tally of 71 from 39 matches.[14] On passing Wasim's record, McGrath said, "Wasim Akram, to me, is one of the greatest bowlers of all time. Left-armer, swung it both ways with the new ball and he was so dangerous with the old ball. To go past him is something I will always remember. Probably the other side of the coin is that if you play long enough, you're going to break records here and there."[15]
  • Playing in a Test against the West Indies at Lahore in 1990-91, he became one of only six players to have taken four wickets in an over during a Test match. In Wasim's case, the feat was not part of a hat-trick, the third ball of the series being a dropped catch, which allowed a single.[18][19]
  • Wasim has also achieved the highest score by a number eight batsman in Test cricket — 257 not out from 363 balls against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura. The innings contained 12 sixes which is also a world record for Test cricket.[20][21]
  • He also has the third highest number of Man of the Match awards in Test cricket, seventeen.[22]
  • He has scored the record number of runs in ODIs by a player who has never managed a one day hundred. His highest score was 86 [23]

Cricket controversies

In 1992, after he had been successful against English batsmen, accusations of ball tampering began to appear in the English press, though no video evidence was ever found. Wasim and Waqar had been able to obtain prodigious amounts of movement from old balls. This phenomenon, termed reverse swing was relatively unknown in England at the time.

A far larger controversy was created when he was alleged to be involved in match fixing. An enquiry commission was set up by Pakistan Cricket Board headed by a Pakistan high court judge Malik Mohammed Qayyum. The judge wrote in his report that:

This commission feels that all is not well here and that Wasim Akram is not above board. He has not co-operated with this Commission. It is only by giving Wasim Akram the benefit of the doubt after Ata-ur-Rehman changed his testimony in suspicious circumstances that he has not been found guilty of match-fixing. He cannot be said to be above suspicion.[24]

Retirement

Wasim retired from all forms of cricket in 2003[25] after playing for Hampshire in England.

Media career

Since leaving Hampshire, Wasim has taken up commentary and can currently be seen as a sportscaster for the ESPN Star network, and is also running shows on ARY Digital. Akram commentated on the 2009 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup in Australia. Commentating on the Australia v India Super Six Match at the North Sydney Oval among others. Akram has also commentated on the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England and the 2009 Champion's Trophy in South Africa.

Personal life

He married Huma Mufti in 1993. The union produced two sons[26], Taimur and Akbar.[27] On October 25, 2009 Akram's wife, Huma Akram (42)[27], died of multiple organ failure, at Apollo Hospital in Chennai, India.[28][29]

Awards

He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1993.

See also

References

  1. ^ Wasim Akram. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  2. ^ a b c ODI Career Bowling - Most Wickets. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  3. ^ List A Limited-Overs Most Wickets in Career. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  4. ^ "Sutcliffe, Grimmett, Trumper, Wasim and Waugh new inductees into Cricket Hall of Fame". http://www.thesportscampus.com/200909302215/news-bytes/new-inductees-icc-hall-of-fame. 
  5. ^ Double jeopardy. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  6. ^ Benson & Hedges World Cup - Final, England v Pakistan. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  7. ^ Dealing With Diabetes. Newsline. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  8. ^ Lara rates Akram better than McGrath. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  9. ^ Tests - Most Wickets Taken Caught. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  10. ^ Tests - Most Wickets Taken LBW. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  11. ^ Tests - Most Wickets Taken Bowled. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  12. ^ Home truths, and the greatest fast-bowling pairs. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  13. ^ a b Test Career Bowling - Most Wickets. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  14. ^ World Cup Bowling - Most Wickets. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  15. ^ Pigeon v Wasim - who's the best?. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  16. ^ Hat Tricks in Test Matches. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  17. ^ One Day Internationals - Hat Tricks. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  18. ^ Four wickets in an over, and who's the Cockroach?. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  19. ^ Pakistan v West Indies, 1990/91, 3rd Test. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  20. ^ Tests - Highest Score at Each Batting Position. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  21. ^ Tests - Most Sixes in an Innings. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  22. ^ Tests - Most Man of the Match Awards. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ Justice Qayyum's Report. Cricinfo.com. Retrieved on 1 May 2007.
  25. ^ Cricinfo
  26. ^ The Sultan swings by. Toronto Star. Retrieved on 30 April 2007.
  27. ^ a b Cricinfo
  28. ^ http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/cricket/08-wasim-akrams-wife-passes-away-ts-01
  29. ^ http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=67388

External links

Preceded by
Aamer Sohail
Pakistan Cricket Captain
1999-2000
Succeeded by
Moin Khan

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Wasim Akram.jpg

Wasim Akram (Urdu, Punjabi: وسیم اکرم) (born June 3, 1966) is a former cricketing legend from Pakistan who represented his country as a left-arm fast bowler and batsman. Considered as one of the greatest international players in the bowling arena, Akram has held numerous world records and is notable as one of the pioneers and masters of the art of reverse swing. A Lahori by birth and Punjabi by ethnicity, he now spends his time as an active cricket commentator.

Quotes about Akram

  • Over my fifteen or sixteen years of playing international cricket in tests and one-day internationals, Wasim Akram is definitely the most outstanding bowler I've ever faced.

External links

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