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Former cricketers discuss Wasim Akram’s impact on world cricket

Akram teammates reveal what made him a force in international cricket

PHOTO: AFP

Legendary pacer Wasim Akram’s spell in the final of 1992 World Cup against England at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) played an instrumental role in taking Pakistan to their first-ever World title.

On the 28th anniversary of their World Cup triumph, Akram’s teammates reveal what made him a force in international cricket.

While speaking in a video released by International Cricket Council (ICC), Akram’s World Cup winning teammate Aamir Sohail said that the left-arm pacer made a massive impact on future generations of Pakistan cricketers.

“When you talk about Pakistan history, he is the best ever. He had everything. A quick-arm action, he could do so much with the new ball, his bouncers were lethal and with the old ball, we all knew what he could bring to the table,” Sohail said. “We always knew Wasim had the ability to deliver at the right time and other bowlers used to do the holding job. There was a partnership going on between Allan Lamb and Fairbrother and all the other bowlers were asked to take the required run rate slightly higher, and then Wasim and Aaqib were asked to finish the job for us.”

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“Pakistan has produced the highest number of left-arm fast bowlers and that is the impact of Wasim Akram,” he added.

Pakistan’s current head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq revealed that he never liked facing Akram in the nets despite the left-arm pacer being at the tail-end of his career.

“When you talk about Wasim Akram, he is one the best the world of cricket has ever produced,” Misbah said. “An amazing talent and the kind of bowler you never want to face. I was just starting at that time in Pakistani team and he was about to retire, but still no one liked facing Wasim Akram in the nets even then when he was just running from two or three yards. It was amazing how he quick he could bowl from there and how quick he was off the pitch. He used to swing the ball both ways on dry pitches as well.”

Cricketer-turned-commentator Bazid Khan also rated Akram as one of the best fast bowlers the world has ever witnessed.

“Wasim Akram in my opinion was the best left-armer that ever graced the earth. He had it all, he had that reverse swing, bowled well with the new ball and he knew when to really go at the batsmen,” Bazid said. “You go back to the 92 World Cup final, big stage and he comes up with dramatic deliveries. When you talk about the greatest bowlers with players around the world, the two names that always pop up are Malcolm Marshall and Wasim Akram.”