Happy Birthday Wasim Akram: A tour of exclusive records by the Sultan of Swing

If we are asked to recall a seamer who has produced some serious damage on the 22 yard-track, the first name that comes to our mind is Pakistani legend Wasim Akram who is popularly known as the Sultan of Swing.

Akram dominated the world of cricket for almost two decades with his exceptional ability to swing the ball both ways and had become a name of terror for many well-known batters across the globe. His swinging ability along with  lethal pace has made him an idol for aspiring pacers of the upcoming generation.

File image of Wasim Akram. Reuters

File image of Wasim Akram. Reuters

The former Pakistan skipper who got a total of 916 wickets to his name, had never been featured on any domestic stage. His first appearance was on 23 November, 1984, in a One Day International match between Pakistan and New Zealand at Faisalabad. After two months, he wore his first white jersey for Pakistan and made his Test debut against the same opponent at Auckland.

In his second Test match, he stunned the world with a 10-wicket haul. He, under the leadership of Imran Khan, also played a key role in Pakistan’s maiden World Cup triumph in 1992. After 18 years of his retirement, Akram is still the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan.

The speedster was also appointed as the captain of Pakistan and led the side in 109 ODIs and 25 Test matches. Among them, Pakistan recorded wins in 66 and 12 games respectively. Under his captaincy, Pakistan also became the runner-up in the 1999 World Cup.

On the occasion of his 56th birthday today, let’s recall some records held by the speed legend:

  • In November 1984, at the age of 18 years, Wasim Akram played a first-class game for the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP) Patrons’ XI against New Zealand at Rawalpindi and picked up wickets in the match. His international debut came just a few days later in the second ODI against the Kiwis.
  • Wasim Akram has scalped 502 wickets in One Day Internationals and became the first bowler to introduce the exclusive league of 500-plus wicket-takers. At present, he stands right after Sri Lankan spinner legend Muttiah Muralidharan who tops the list.
  • Akram has 414 Test wickets and is the ninth bowler among the highest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket. He acquires the highest number of wickets among any left-arm bowler in the world.
  • He became the first player in history to notch up four hat-tricks – two in ODIs and two in Tests. He got a total of 5 hat-tricks in International cricket. Later, Sri Lankan bowling maestro Lasith Malinga equalled the number and joined Akram at the top of the list.
  • Besides having numerous records with the ball, Akram also shone with the bat registering a total of 3,717 runs in ODIs and 2,898 runs in Tests including 13 half-centuries, 3 tons and 1 test double century. Coming in at number 8, he smacked 257 runs in a Test match against Zimbabwe in 1996. This is the highest individual run scored by any no 8 batter. The knock was laced with 12 maximums which recorded the highest number of sixes smashed in a Test match.
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