Dubbed as the Rawalpindi Express, Shoaib Akthar first burst on the international scene in the 1999 World Cup where he scared the daylights of the opposition batsmen with his almost 100 mph rockets.india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 17:44 IST
Dubbed as the Rawalpindi Express, Shoaib Akthar first burst on the international scene in the 1999 World Cup where he scared the daylights of the opposition batsmen with his almost 100 mph rockets.
Incredibly potent and successful at first, he lost track somewhere along his career path.
The 2003 World Cup was disappointing for him. He promised much, but came a cropper, especially in the encounter against Sachin Tendulkar.
Dropped after the World Cup, Shoaib roared back against the home series against India.
Not only did he struggle for wickets, he also left the field at a crucial stage of the third Test citing wrist injury and back pain, though neither injury seemed to bother him when he came out to bat later.
Pakistan lost the Test, and Shoaib felt the heat, as his commitment to the game and his relationship with the captain and the team management came into question as well.
Come 2005, inevitably perhaps, he came back against England, finishing with 17 wickets and providing, in Michael Vaughan's words, the difference between the two sides. As well as being at the peak of his bowling prowess, Shoaib looked a team man to the core.He had come back transformed and delivered a performance he had always promised.