Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar revealed that he was offered the team’s captaincy in 2002 but he refused the offer because he wasn’t fully fit to play all matches and considered the team’s interest before him. Popularly known as the ‘Rawalpindi Express’, Akhtar made his Test debut in 1997.
Akhtar also revealed that Pakistan faced a lot of mismanagement during his time as he played under a lot of captains for the national team. Akhtar made his ODI debut under Rashid Latif, however, Akram was also a part of the ODI squad, but wasn’t leading the team in the white ball format.
“I wasn’t fit enough. I could play three matches out of five. I was offered captaincy in 2002, but then I would’ve played only 1.5-2 years (if I played all matches),” Akhtar was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
He added, “I supported my teammates, but the board was very unstable. There was mismanagement all over the board. Pakistan itself had faced mismanagement at that time.”
Is there anything we can manage right now?: Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar has seen many lows in his career as there were doubts about his bowling action, ball-tampering attempts, fighting with his own team-mates, courtroom battles against his board, long bans and heavier match fines, serious career-threatening injuries, and most damagingly, doping charges.
Due to this, he missed more than half of the Tests Pakistan played. The pace bowling legend further lashed out at the domino effect in Pakistan, criticising the country for embracing ‘mediocrity’.
“When your culture endures mediocrity, every person in power is mediocre. The mediocrity continues to increase. You see what the state is today. Is there anything we can manage right now? Nothing. Everyone runs away from responsibility,” said Akhtar.
The speedster played 46 Test matches and picked 178 wickets, while in ODIs he took 247 wickets in 163 matches he played in his career. His T20I career was very short as he played only 15 matches in the shortest format and took 19 wickets in his career. However, he holds the record for the fastest delivery ever bowled in international cricket which was 161 KPH against New Zealand in 2002.
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