Shoaib Akhtar recalls IPL memories
It was about twelve years ago but the moment had been still remembered by former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar. The Pakistani pacer was signed for Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders.
In the first game for KKR, Shoaib was on fire with ball. Rawalpindi superstar took four wickets in exchange for just 11 runs. And KKR picked-up a great victory over Delhi Daredevils.
Shoaib’s bowling was much praised in that night at Eden Gardens. The audience was in love with the Pakistani pacer. Inspired by the performance of the star pacer, owner of KKR Shah Rukh Khan also started running all over the field.
Recalling that experience, Shoaib said,
“After I took 4 wickets, everyone went crazy. Shahrukh started to run around the field. Shah Rukh was very excited. I was thinking, I have won the World Cup or not! So much so that the whole environment became crazy.”
Shahrukh later summoned Akhtar and spoke separately. King Khan told the Pakistani pacer, “You have won a great match for us.”
Shoaib Akhtar was one of the three stars KKR signed in the first season as a marquee. Later, Sourav Ganguly wrote in his autobiography, “I knew that Shoaib’s distant speed would make a difference in the short-range format. That’s it. We destroy Delhi Daredevils. The Rawalpindi Express cleared them. Shoaib took 4 for 11. We also won a low scoring thriller. It was a great win. But we couldn’t keep up with the winning streak.”
Sharing his experience of playing with Shoaib, Sourav said, “It was harder than I thought, to control Shoaib. Instead of leading us into the tournament, Shoaib suddenly decided not to play. Despite my many requests, Shoaib had not played after three matches.”
Sourav added, “Shoaib said he had an injury. But to me, his injury was mysterious. I requested him practically, only to bowl 4 overs. I explained that he should play with a small injury. But it was almost impossible to convince him.”