Before bowling that epic Yorker to Sachin Tendulkar in Calcutta Test in 1999, Shoaib walked to Little Master Sachin Tendulkar and asked “Do you know me?” Tendulkar replied “No”. And Shoaib Akhtar said “Now you will know me soon”.
The Rawalpindi express shook the world of cricket and made everyone sit up and take note when he bowled Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in successive deliveries to not only derail the Indian batting line-up, but also stun the vociferous Eden crowd.
In his book, “Controversially yours” Pakistani speed star writes, “I had gone up to Tendulkar and asked if he knew who I was and he said that he didn’t. I just replied back saying that he would now. And when I had the ball in hand with thousands of Indian fans cheering for the home team, I obviously had butterflies in stomach but I also had faith in my abilities and knew that if I could bowl as well as I am capable of, I would definitely stand out and help my team win. Even as I ran up to bowl, I could hear the deafening cheer from the Indian fans but first I dismissed Dravid and the very next delivery I sent Tendulkar packing. The Eden crowd was stunned. The atmosphere changed in a fraction of a second. And that is when I also realized what Tendulkar’s wicket meant to Indian fans.”
Happy Birthday to one of the most feared bowlers in the history of game of cricket, on this day, the legendary pacer was born whose fan following is not restricted to any borders, Shoaib Akhtar, arguably one of the finest cricketers to ever walk on the surface of this planet.
The tiger of cricket who bowled the fastest ball in the history of International cricket will always be remembered as a great name in the world of cricket.