Shoaib Akhtar, also known as Rawalpindi Express, was one of the most feared bowlers of his time. He was one of the quickest bowlers and the batters never wanted to face him. Akhtar achieved great heights in his career despite battling with injuries.
In a recent interview, Akhtar revealed that when he was young, a doctor warned his mother that he would not be able to run like regular guys and that he would grow up to be a half-disabled youngster.
“I could not walk until the age of six. I used to crawl. The doctor always said to my mother, â€˜Listen, this guy will be half-disabled. He will not be able to run like normal guys,” said Akhtar to The Age.
Recalling his frequent injuries throughout his career, he revealed that he would fall asleep in the ice bath due to get some relief. “[The injuries] became bone on bone in my knees. Imagine the pain I went through. Man, it was terrible. I used to [fall] asleep in an ice bath. There were many times that teammates would wake me up and say, â€˜Itâ€™s four in the morning, get out and get in the bedâ€™. I used to hide my injuries. There was fierce competition and the media wouldnâ€™t understand why I didnâ€™t play regularly,” he said.
Fighting all odds, Akhtar went on to become one of the greatest to have played the game. He played 46 Tests, picking up 178 wickets at an outstanding average of 25.7. He was extremely dangerous with the white ball as well, taking 247 wickets in 163 ODI matches. While he didn’t have much of an opportunity to play the shortest format, he made an impression with 19 wickets in 15 T20Is.