VIDEO | I was often demoralized for believing that I could replace Waqar: Shoaib Akhtar

In a recent videocast for ESPNcricinfo, Pakistan’s legendary fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, surprisingly revealed that he was the least-quickest out of seven or eight fast bowlers in his early days.

The 44-year-old stated that Pakistan had been blessed with some of the finest fast bowlers, and to earn a name for himself, he had to surpass notable names such as legendary former pacers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

“I am telling you the fact and the truth. Out of the seven to eight fast-bowlers, I was the least-quickest bowler in the world in the Pakistan attack at that time,” Akhtar claimed.

“I will speak from the heart. I have told you about eight fast-bowlers. Mohammad Zahid topped that list. Now imagine that I had to try to surpass them. You have to surpass the likes of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Not just surpass them, but also make a name for yourself. What will you do?”

The Rawalpindi Express revealed that he always looked up to his inspirations and learned different qualities from each bowler, and that is what earned him a notable presence on the field.

“I started picking up qualities from each of them. I learned how to sprint from one of them, learned the bowling action from another, learned bowling sense from one, learned how to train from another, learned how to gym from one, learned how to talk from the other. I have always believed that one must have a good voice and you should know how to speak. I also believed that you needed to have an impactful personality,” Akhtar shared.

The world-class pacer claimed that he knew his attitude is what would define his future as a bowler. He shared that he was often demoralized for believing that he could replace Waqar because people had seen many others trying yet failing drastically.

“No. You do not understand. Other people never had my attitude. When I run in, I am going to own the ground by taking wickets, and I know how to do so”, he knew how to reverse-swing the ball at the age of 16, he concluded.


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