New Delhi, Nov 27 Left-arm fast-bowling legend Wasim Akram feels that legendary Pakistan batter Javed Miandad praising him in front of one of the chief selectors propelled his quick entry in the international cricket arena.
Akram was just an unknown club cricketer at the age of 18 when he was first spotted by Miandad at a trial in Lahore. Amongst 60 other local bowling hopefuls, Akram was given a chance to bowl to Miandad, the then-Pakistan skipper, who was at Gaddafi Stadium for a net session post his recovery from an injury.
Akram’s ability to swing the ball and at a high pace caught Miandad’s attention and weeks later, he was given his international debut on Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand in 1985, marking the beginning of an illustrious international career.
“I realised I could get picked up when Javed saw me for the first time. (It was) in Lahore, he praised me in front of one of the chief selectors. I thought, ‘Something could happen if I just concentrate and focus’.”
“Luckily, usually it doesn’t happen, but in my case it did. I went to Karachi for the first time then went to New Zealand (with the national team),” said Akram to SEN’s This Is Your Journey – thanks to Tobin Brothers radio show.
Akram went on to pick 502 wickets in 356 ODIs at an average of 23.52 and bowled Pakistan to victory in the 1992 Cricket World Cup final against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He also went on to take 414 wickets in 104 Tests at an average of 23.62 and even got to captain Pakistan.
Now looking back at that incident of being praised by Miandad, Akram feels to be incredibly lucky to have been spotted by the legendary batter and thinks he could have “disappeared” from the cricketing scene if things hadn’t panned out that way.
“You never know, if he wasn’t injured, he probably would never have come to the net practice. I could have disappeared into the hundred boys, it was destiny I suppose, luck might be the word.”