Shoaib Akhtar opens about struggles in his career

Shoaib Akhtar opens about struggles in his career

Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar during release of his autobiography "Shoaib Akhtar Controversially Yours" at a function in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)
Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Most people know the humble beginnings of pacer Shoaib Akhtar. The struggle he went through to achieve what he did all those years ago is something certainly beyond most people’s expectations. However, speaking about his claim to fame, Akhtar traversed the entire path to glory with Wasim Akram on the show ‘The Sportsman’.

Just last week, Misbah-ul-Haq had come on the show. However, the Rawalpindi express began his path by speaking about the performances of Pakistan’s charismatic skipper Imran Khan. At the age of 39, Imran went on to show that he had an incredible acumen to the game of cricket. Needless to say, Khan led Pakistan to their first ever World Cup win down under in 1992.

Akhtar started off saying, “It started with 1992 World Cup after watching your two wickets of Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis, Imran Khan‘s stylish hair after which a dream began followed by struggle. There was lot of struggle in my career. I was always street smart, good in school but was not aware of what do in life. There was a long struggle but I always kept my spirits high and never looked down on myself. I was very unusual, be it in college or anywhere, I used to stand out and come forward aggressively and there were lot of jealousy factor in the area where I used to live because when you are moving up so fast one has to face resistance and that is good, so that you do better.”

Although Shoaib said that he began on the streets, he has gone on to state the importance of playing in the stadium and on the streets.

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“We had plenty of grounds but except that there was no such infrastructures where we can play and grow. There were lot of things but surely there was a long struggle such as waking up in the morning and running in the evening with no money the in pocket. There is a saying in Punjabi, At the time hunger, you won’t have money and when you have money then you do not feel hungry.”

“Honestly, first I saw you, then Imran bhai (Imran Khan) and then Waqar Younis. Then I thought of copying all three of you so that I become something. Sometime, I used to try your action and copy Waqar’s gesture of moving fingers the on face.”

Shoaib also went on to illustrate his relationship with fellow pacer at the time Waqar Younis. He even went on to illustrate a story about how Waqar taught him the act of concealment of the seam.

“He doesn’t have one finger and I used to keep imitating Waqar and how he used to utilise his finger all the time. Once while talking I asked him, why you don’t open your hand fully? Waqar replied very gently that there is no little finger in my left-hand. So while copying, I realised, inspiration and heroes are very important. If there are no heroes there wouldn’t be any inspiration. So, in the process of copying, I became a different product and since I am not that handsome like Imran bhai, so it is impossible to become like him and this is the way I started. However, one thing was clear, that I always wanted to be a fast bowler right from the very first day. I wanted bowl very fast and this was the only thing which I always wanted to do.”

“If there are no heroes there wouldn’t be any inspiration. So, in the process of copying, I became a different product and since I am not that handsome like Imran bhai, so it is impossible to become like him and this is the way I started. However, one thing was clear, that I always wanted to be a fast bowler right from the very first day. I wanted bowl very fast and this was the only thing which I always wanted to do.”

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