Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar, one of the fastest bowlers of his time, has made a sensational claim. Known for his raw pace that not only knocked down stumps but instilled fears in the minds and hearts of several of his peers during his playing days, he said, “When I started playing cricket, I was told you can’t bowl fast and to achieve a good speed of 100 mph I will have to use drugs.”
Shoaib Akhtar, to this day, holds the record of bowling the fastest recorded delivery in international cricket. Akhtar achieved the feat during a match against England at the 2003 World Cup when he clocked a delivery to Nick Knight at 161.3 km/h.
Nicknamed ‘the Rawalpindi Express’ because of his breathtaking deliveries in a unique bowling action verging on chucking — Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga’s bowling action resembles that of stone-pelting too — Akhtar suffered numerous injuries to his career. In a recent interview, Shoaib Akhtar revealed that he was asked to take drugs to bowl at 100 miles per hour when he started his career, “but I have always refused to do so,” he said.
The former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar was addressing the Anti-Narcotics Forces’ (ANF) annual drug burning ceremony, according to Cricket Pakistan.
Shoaib Akhtar, meanwhile, tweeted a few images of the event on Twitter, and in the caption, he asked youngsters to focus on health to attain a bright future.
“It was my honour being the speaker/guest of honor at the symbolic drug burning ceremony by Anti Narcotics Force of Pakistan. ANF is making efforts to the best of its capacity & resources for a drug free Pakistan. Play sports, work out & do healthy activities for a bright future,” Akhtar captioned the tweet.
In his career, Shoaib Akhtar went on to play 46 Tests in which he picked up 178 wickets at an average of 25.7. He played 163 ODIs in which he picked 247 wickets and picked 19 scalps in 15 T20Is.