'World yet to see Shoaib at his best'
Estranged Pakistan team trainer-cum-doctor says that had Shoaib Akhtar got a normal elbow he would have bowled up to 176 kmph, and that he would still work with one of the world's fastest bowlers after the India series to enhance his speed.
"Shoaib is all about speed; that's his life. I believe you haven't seen the fastest of Shoaib yet," said Tauseef Razzaq in an interview with IANS.
"He loses 16 kilometres of speed because of his elbow, because it bends backwards. If he would have a normal arm, he would bowl at around 170-176 kmph. We have this documented," said Razzaq, who is currently on medical leave following his reported differences with the team management.
"We have seen reports of his rigid arm, put support at the back of his arm and then timed his speed. He goes way beyond 160 kilometres," said Razzaq, who was first invited by former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Tauquir Zia for Shoaib's rehabilitation in August 2000.
Razzaq, who had secured his medical degree from the US and also taught advanced medical sciences at Columbia University, disclosed that he would work with Shoaib with the aim of enhancing his speed after this series.
"I would like to work on some angles, which would give Shoaib a lot more speed," said Razzaq, who has also conducted camps with the Pakistan junior and Pakistan 'A' sides and one camp of the national side prior to Shoaib's rehabilitation.
Razzaq said he and Shoaib, who has attained speeds of 100 miles per hour twice in the last couple of years, are inseparable.
"Shoaib Akhtar is part of me now. It's been four years that we have been together. We have been through the worse, actually. The good times have just started," he said, sending a veiled warning to the world's batsmen.
"Every time Shoaib takes a wicket, I believe I have done something for Pakistan. Every time he wins a match or series for Pakistan, it makes me incredibly proud."
Razzaq said that when he first examined Shoaib in 2000, he was carrying "about five-six injuries that would have cost him his career."
"His shoulder was gone, he had a ligament injury, his rotator cuff was damaged, his 12th rib used to hit his pelvis while bowling - he had a stress fracture over there - his back was gone, both his knees were badly injured, especially the left one," he said.
"Then his ankle had a ligament strain, so he had problems in bowling and running," he said. "The reports that were given to me prior to Shoaib's arrival in Pakistan, which were from foreign consultants, were that he would be never be able to bowl and if he did, he would never be able to achieve the same speed."
Razzaq said he "had a vision for him and how we were going to take him beyond what he had ever dreamed of."
"It sort of stuck to his mind and he never ever changed his track after that. Whatever I said Shoaib was always there," he said, recalling the time immediately after the 1999 World Cup when Shoaib was hit by these injuries.
Razzaq said he did not join the PCB for money. "I did not sign a contract till the day I had Shoaib cleared by the ICC and he was back playing," he said. "That was when I signed a contract because there were others (doctors) coming in and they (the PCB) wanted to sign a contract."
After that Razzaq worked with a lot of other players who were injured.
"They needed surgeries (but) I never took them to surgeries - Yousuf Youhana is one of them," he said. "Yousuf had a cist in his shoulder that was compressing his nerves causing immense tissue atrophy in his muscles. He was recommended surgery by an Australian orthopaedic surgeon."
The Lahore-based doctor said after a couple of diagnostic procedures he told Yousuf what he had in mind for him.
"We had no surgeries, we just aspirated the cist and we did a lot of training that created a lot of muscles around that area to compress the cist from recurring," he said. "And by the grace of Allah, he was back within four weeks."
Razzaq said he also treated successfully Taufeeq Umer and fast bowler Mohammed Sami.
And it was his liking for Shoaib and other fast bowlers that led to his disagreement with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Javed Miandad, who wanted the speedsters to bowl like other bowlers, against the wishes of Razzaq.
Just before the third Test began here Tuesday, Razzaq went on medical leave in protest. But he said he would be around, whether in official capacity or otherwise, to help the players.
"I'm going to be around these boys. I believe every time a player goes down I would be around to help them out. It does not really matter if I am in the team," he said.
"It is about me, not the PCB. My qualification, my expertise is with me, the PCB has not given me anything," he added.
--Indo-Asian News Service