Would be great if the Indian pacers develop attitude too, says Shoaib

Shoaib Akhtar.

Shoaib Akhtar.

His muscular frame speeding up to the wicket, his hair falling all over the place, and releasing those thunderbolts from hell: it was beastly, yet beautiful to behold. Shoaib Akhtar in full flight was one of cricket’s most exhilarating sights in the decades either side of the millennium.

At 46, he is of course no longer the incredibly quick bowler that would get the better of the best batters of the time. Remember those swinging yorkers that cleaned up Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, off successive balls, in the Kolkata Test of 1999?

The skills are still there; and they were on display in the opening match of the Legends League Cricket. The attitude and the swagger are very much there, too.

“I was born to be a star,” Shoaib tells The Hindu , while talking about the huge popularity of his YouTube channel (it has attracted 31 lakh subscribers within two years of its launch). “I do it for my pleasure (and those videos) become hits. I know I have lots of followers in India and Pakistan. And I am the most loved guy in the sub-continent.”

He says he is delighted that the sub-continent continues to produce quality pace bowlers. And he is mighty impressed with the current crop of Indian quicks.

“All the Indian pacers are good; I love Umesh Yadav, I love Jasprit Bumrah,” says Shoaib. “I think Mohammed Shami is great. I feel it would be great if they could develop attitude too, like that of their Pakistani counterparts.”

As for his own experience of bowling for Asia Lions against India Maharajas in the opening match of the Legends League Cricket, he says he enjoyed it, though it was painful. He took one for 21 in four overs. “I hurt myself,” he says. “But I loved it.”

Going by the crowd’s reaction, they loved it too.

(The writer is in Muscat at the invitation of Legends League Cricket)

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 2:56:00 pm |