December 22, 2012

A bowler, king of swing, father to all bowlers, magic fingers; this is all you will get in a super star, Wasim Akram. People like him are a pearl to us, a rare artifact which is priceless especially to cricket loving nation like ours. . People like him appear in ages and they seem to leave a deep impact that, every moment of their life goes as an inspiration for us.

What this man has given us, is not hidden to anyone. He was the man behind winning the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Not only did he bowl out outclass players like Chris Lewis, Ian Botham and Allan Lamb but also he left the crown begging for more. It was the time of World Cup final when Wasim Akram was successful in taking two of the most crucial wickets and turning the game to Pakistan’s favor.

How can we forget the endless favors bestowed on the Pakistani team by this superb player. It was because of the scars left by Wasim Akram that England was left in a bitter choice and lost all hopes. They were outnumbered at the score of 227, while Akram was named Man of the Match.

These precious moments were enough for him to have all the fames and likes. This even proved right as he remained on the track and dismissed quality players in matches that were played after this world cup, like in the match against Sri Lanka at Sharjah, he was able to take 2 consecutive 4 wickets in a row. In these matches, 7 wickets were of LBW or bowled out while one was other.

His career as a cricketer proved amazing. He played a total of 356 ODIs and 104 tests. In these one-day internationals he took 502 wickets and took 414 wickets in test matches. He earned 17 Man of the Match awards in tests and 22 Man of the match awards in ODIs. Coming to hat-tricks, he is the only one who took 4 hat-tricks including one day and tests. Apart from being an exceptionally fast bowler, he was a great batsman as well. His highest test match score is 257 runs not-out played in 1996 against Zimbabwe.

He played his last ODI in March 4th, 2003 against Zimbabwe. Though his career as a cricketer ended but he was retained in the field when was named bowling mention to the Kolkata Knight Riders, of the Indian Premier League. This was in 2010, when he chose to be the coach, later signed contracts with various fast bowling camps for coaching. His career did not stop after retiring; he took up the responsibility of becoming a commentator for TV channels like ARY Digital and today he is officially signed on with ESPN Star Sports.

Cricket was ‘the’ game for him; he loved it, admired it, cared for it and proved it to be the best for him. He bowled with great speed, had a strong left arm action with complete control and accuracy. His skills for seam and swing progressed with time, which left no one comparable to him in it, thus earned him the title of “Sultans of Swing”, the other being Waqar Younis.

Wasim Akram lives in people’s heart. He is such a devoted role-model for people. Not only his bowling style is an inspiration but how he tackled his illness is a perfect example of how people should lead their lives. It was in 1997 when Akram was diagnosed with diabetes type I and since then he has been living with it. The great player never stopped his cricketing career and with continuous exercise, proper diet and medications, he was able to stop critics from spreading negative word against him.

His positive attitude led him to deal perfectly with the disease and he still lives as a star icon in our lives. Not only did he care properly for himself since then but he continued to raise people’s awareness for diabetics as a noble cause. This was done through various diabetics’ campaigns and Ads. He is also the brand Ambassador for international and national names like, Roche, Gulf Super Sixes and Ufone. Words never seem to end for Wasim Akram; one could just keep filling pages and his endless qualities. He will be loved and will remain in people’s heart forever.

Written by: Muneel Ali
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