Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar was one of the few Pakistan cricketers who plied their trade in the initial seasons of IPL. Akhtar recently shared a few interesting stories from IPL 2008.
Akhtar revealed how Sourav Ganguly had come to his rescue when Kolkata Knight Riders head coach John Buchanan expressed concerns about his match fitness. Shedding light on the same, Shoaib Akhtar revealed how he missed a couple of games for KKR owing to ban imposed by PCB.
He landed in India cleared him to play just before the 35th league match of the tournament after a clearance from the PCB. Speaking on Sportskeeda, Shoaib Akhtar said:
“I was serving a ban when I joined the KKR camp and hadn’t played matches. John Buchanan told Sourav Ganguly that he doesn’t think I am fit enough. To which Ganguly replied that he has always been unfit. Don’t worry about him. It will be okay even if he’s half unfit.”
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Incidentally, Shoaib Akhtar had a dream start to his IPL career, picking up four crucial wickets in his debut game against Delhi. He was adjudged the Player of the Match for his exploits with the ball in the fixture.
“I had grabbed Aakash Chopra by the collar to pull him closer” – Shoaib Akhtar
The 46-year-old described how he once grabbed teammate Aakash Chopra by the collar. He revealed that while being pumped up after claiming a wicket, he pulled the ex-India opener’s jersey to get him closer while celebrating.
“I remember in that game I was charged up after taking a wicket and had grabbed Aakash Chopra by the collar to pull him closer. He then requested that I be careful not to break his ribs while doing that. After that, I also jumped on Salman Butt while celebrating,” Akhtar concluded.
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