Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is one of the most feared bowlers of all time. His aggression matched with his raw pace sent nightmares to the batsmen during his playing days. He has time and again picked battles with opposition cricketers both on and off the field especially with Indian cricketers. Recently, Akhtar made another controversial statement claiming Indian tailenders used to tell him not to hit them.
Pakistan have a rich history of producing world-class fast bowlers and Akhtar carried the tradition forward. Bowling at a raw pace, the Rawalpindi Express has terrified batters all across the globe. He also holds the record of the fastest ball ever bowled in the history of the game.
Indian tailenders would tell me don’t hit us – Akhtar
Not many will disagree that Shoaib Akhtar was a nightmare to the tailenders. During the interview with Pasha, when asked if there were batsmen who would ask him to get them out but not hit them, Akhtar named Muralitharan and Indian tail-enders. Akhtar also added that Indian tailenders used to request him saying they had families.
“There were many who told me not to hit them. Muralitharan was one. Many Indian tailenders would tell me ‘don’t hit us, we have families’. Muralitharan would ask me to bowl slow, and he would get out,” said Akhtar.
Adding further, Shoaib Akhtar revealed how former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf used to encourage him to bowl fast to Muttiah Muralitharan. Yousuf wanted Akhtar to break Murali’s finger, who troubled the former a lot during his playing days.
“Yousuf would ask me to hit him. He would say ‘break his fingers I can’t play his spin’. I bowled Muralitharan a few bouncers but he said ‘don’t do this to me I will die if the ball hits me’, the former paceman said with a smile on his face,” Akhtar added.