Shoaib Akhtar is a Pakistani cricketer who is looked upon by everyone as the quickest bowler in the world and called by the name Rawalpindi Express. He is one of the most controversial players in the history of cricket. As he can bowl sharp bouncers, swinging deliveries, well disguised slow balls and fast yorkers on dead pitches also he is considered as lethal. He is a right handed batsman who bats down the order and a right arm fast bowler.
Initially Akhtar was in Malangi High School at Morgah and later in Rawalpindi at the Asghar Mall College. Here he displayed his talent and as a result of that came in the limelight. Akhtar played impressively in 1999 in the pre-World cup series against India, in Sharjah and in the Cricket World Cup. At Calcutta in the Asian Test championship he took eight wickets as a newcomer. This feat comprised of the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid on consecutive balls. Akhtar bowled Sachin Tendulkar on the first ball he had bowled to Tendulkar.
Akhtar played a leading role in 2002-03 during the Pakistani triumph over New Zealand and South Africa in the away and home series. His performance in the 2003 World Cup was very disappointing and Akhtar was dropped from the team after this Cup. During the 2004 series against New Zealand he was recalled in the team and further in the series which was won by India he had to struggle.
Akhtar was acknowledged as a powerful bowler for Pakistan again in 2005. During the home series against England which comprised of three Tests he bowled very impressively on lifeless pitches. The English batsmen could just not play his slower ball. In this series he picked up 17 wickets and became the leading wicket taker. Michael Vaughan the English skipper acknowledged his efforts.
Akhtar’s 13 match ban was complete on 29 October 2007 and in the fifth One day International against South Africa at Lahore he finished with figures of 4 for 43. Further he was a part of the 16 man team chosen for the tour of India in 2007 during which there was no undesired incident regarding him.
Akhtar’s career was hampered due to accusations of bad attitude, controversies and injuries. Due to his devastating pace he shot to stardom at a young age and then rather than cementing his place he was attracted more towards the glamour. Although finally he was successful in crossing the 100 mph barrier his attitude affected his fitness as well as his reputation. Due to large number of controversies surrounding the player he was currently banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for 5 years after the year 2007.