The year 2008 saw former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar lighting up the Eden Gardens in Kolkata with some explosive bowling in which he picked up 4 wickets for 11 runs and completely dismantling the batting lineup of Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). The exceptional performance saw one of the co-owners of Kolkata Knight Riders running laps all around the ground. The first season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was the only season in which the maverick Pakistani player featured.
Recounting the experience, Akhtar said that when he took 4 wickets, everyone went mad even one of the co-owners was running all over the ground. He said that looking at the celebration around him he thought he had won the World Cup. Akhtar was one of the marquee players for KKR in the first season
Sourav Ganguly spoke about the experience of leading the former Pakistan fast-bowler in his book. The former Team India skipper said that he knew Shoaib Akhtar’s blistering pace was bound to make a difference in the shortest format of the game and crowd at Eden Gardens roared after the Rawalpindi express cleaned up Delhi Daredevils. He also said that KKR winning the low- scoring game against Delhi Daredevils was one of their most memorable wins.
Ganguly in his book further wrote that handling Shoaib Akhtar was also more difficult than he had imagined. He revealed that instead of turning around the competition for KKR, Akhtar suddenly decided not to play any more. He withdrew after making only three appearances despite the former India skipper making repeated requests. Ganguly also added that he pleaded Shoaib Akhtar to send down only four overs even with a small, niggling injury, but it was impossible to get him on the park.