Wasim Akram: Best left-arm fast bowler in cricket

Wasim Akram: Sultan of Swing
Wasim Akram: Sultan of Swing | Source

Full name: Wasim Akram

Born: June 3 1966 at Lahore, Pakistan

Major teams: Pakistan, Lahore, Lancashire, Hampshire, Pakistan Automobiles Corporation, Pakistan International Airlines

  • Former Pakistan captain
  • Left-arm fast bowler
  • Left-hand lower order batsman
  • Commentator

Profile

Wasim Akram was wily and fast, but his greatest attribute was the prodigious swing and cut he produced regularly. The Pakistani left-armer delivered the ball off a short run-up, yet he managed to generate good pace. The unique run-up was accompanied by an equally unique action, where he shielded the ball from the view of the batsman before releasing it.

Wasim formed a formidable bowling partnership with Waqar Younis in the 1990s. He played international cricket for 18 years, after making his Test and ODI debut in 1984. The "Sultan of swing" is one of Pakistan's all-time greats; many cricket pundits regard him as the best left-arm fast bowler of all-time.

Wasim Akram's career was not without its controversies. He was accused of ball tampering on occasion - an accusation that plagued the Pakistan team in general. The legendary left-armer also had some clashes with the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Wasim Akram's batting records

Match type 
Matches 
Runs 
High score
Average
100s
50s
Test 
104 
2898 
257*
22.64
3
7
ODI 
356
3717
86
16.52
0
6
First-class 
257
7161
257*
22.73
7
24
List A 
594 
6993 
89*
18.90
0
17
Twenty20 
55 
24
13.75
0
0
Source: Cricinfo

Wasim Akram's bowling records

Match type 
Matches 
Wickets 
Average
BBI
BBM
Economy
Strike Rate
Test 
 104
414 
23.62
7/119
11/110
2.59
54.6
ODI 
356 
502 
23.52
5/15
5/15
3.89
36.2
First-class
257
1042
21.64
8/30
---
2.69
48.2
List A
594
881
21.91
5/10
5/10
3.89
33.7
Twenty20 
15.12
2/19
2/19
6.36
14.2
Source: Cricinfo

Wasim Akram in action

Career highlights and achievements

  • Over 400 Test wickets
  • First player to 500 ODI wickets
  • Over 1000 First-class wickets
  • World record for most List A wickets - 881
  • World Cup winner: 1992
  • First bowler to take 400 wickets in Tests and ODIs
  • Four hat-tricks in international cricket
  • Wisden Cricketer of the Year: 1993
  • ICC Cricket Hall of Fame: 2009

Wasim Akram played the majority of his First-class games in Pakistan. In addition to that, he enjoyed a long career with English county side Lancashire. Towards the end of his illustrious career, the left-armer played for Hampshire; his last game was a Twenty20 fixture for them.

The left-arm swing bowler from Lahore managed to play international cricket until he was 36 years old, which is not common in Pakistan cricket. That fact outlined Akram's relevance to the Pakistan team. Since his retirement, Akram has become a popular cricket commentator and even served as the bowling coach of the KKR franchise in the Indian Premier League.

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