Pietersen was amazed by the speed with which the former Pakistan speedster bowled
England’s former captain Kevin Pietersen, in a YouTube video on Wednesday, recalled facing Pakistan’s legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar, during a tour to Pakistan while terming the tour itself ‘frightening’ because of Akhtar’s overwhelming pace.
Pietersen revealed that the tour took place after the Ashes in 2005 while marveling at the speed with which the former Pakistan speedster bowled.
“My first proper Test tour abroad was Pakistan. It was straight off the 2005 Ashes. That [tour] was frightening. The speed at which Shoaib Akhtar bowled in that series, my goodness!” said Pietersen.
“We played the World Series in Australia a couple of weeks before that, and I remember sitting in the MCG [Melbourne Cricket Ground] dressing room. We were the World XI and we had everyone like [Brian] Lara, [Muttiah] Muralitharan, [Andrew] Flintoff, [Graeme] Smith, [Jacques] Kallis. I was sitting there going, oh my goodness should I actually be sitting here let alone play in this team?” he added.
The 39-year-old recalled how a taunt from England’s legendary former all-rounder Andrew Flintoff fired up Akhtar to bowl with frightening pace despite struggling with his knee.
“I remember it was quite funny. Shoaib was struggling with his knee and he wasn’t bowling as quick and Freddie [Andrew Flintoff] turned to him and said ‘Shoaib, it’s no use looking like Tarzan and bowling like Jane buddy’,” he said.
“You could see that Shoaib took this to heart. My goodness! The speed at which Shoaib Akhtar bowled in that Test series, oh my word! Crazy, he was bowling faster at five in the afternoon than he was in the morning. It was crazy, crazy,” he further stated.
The former batsman stated that the tour to Pakistan was beautiful while praising the people of the country who deserve to witness the sport they love so much.
“It was a beautiful tour and again beautiful people. It is just so unfortunate that cricket hasn’t gone back there. But in the last six months we have seen the PSL go back to Pakistan and that is wonderful to see. They are the most wonderful people who love the game of cricket. They deserve to be able to see it,” he concluded.