Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar recently praised his former captain and teammate Wasim Akram for supporting him during his early years in international cricket. As quoted by Cricket Pakistan on a television show, Akhtar recalled his playing days with Wasim Akram and how the veteran bowler exposed opposition’s tail-ender batsmen for the ‘Rawalpindi Express’. Shoaib Akhtar also lauded Akram for his many “brilliant bowling” spells for Pakistan.
In the interview, Shoaib Akhtar claimed that he would have 'killed' Wasim Akram if the latter had approached him to do match-fixing. Akhtar confirmed that Wasim Akram never said “such a thing” to him. Shoaib Akhtar added that the ‘Sultan of Swing’ often let him bowl from his preferred end even though he was less experienced than his captain.
Incidentally, Shoaib Akhtar’s “violent” take towards match-fixing comes two days after former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq requested Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to give a second chance to Saleem Malik to do something for Pakistan cricket. On April 18, Inzamam-ul-Haq took to his YouTube channel and described Saleem Malik as one of the greatest Pakistani batsmen ever and compared him to the likes of Mohammad Yousuf and Babar Azam. Inzamam-ul-Haq was of the opinion that an experienced campaigner like Malik can use his knowledge to coach the young generation of Pakistan cricket. Saleem Malik is a former Pakistani batsman who was banned for match-fixing in 2000 before the ban was lifted in 2008 by a Lahore-based local court.
Both Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram was widely considered among the greatest Pakistani pacers of all time. Wasim Akram, in general, holds an impeccable bowling record and is one of only two bowlers in ODI history to take more than 500 wickets (502 wickets) in the format. He also has 414 Test wickets from 104 matches. On the other hand, Shoaib Akhtar once clocked 100.2 mph (161.3 kmph) at the 2003 World Cup and is credited for bowling the fastest-ever delivery to be recorded in international cricket