Happy Birthday Wasim Akram: A look at his phenomenal records
Pakistan bowling legend Wasim Akram turned 54 on Wednesday. He is arguably the greatest ever left-arm seamer to have played international cricket. His magical ability to swing the ball both ways at express pace made him a substantial exponent of swing bowling. During his career, Akram won several memorable matches for Pakistan single-handedly. Let us have a look at his exceptional records.
In a career spanning nearly 20 years, Wasim Arkam snapped up 916 wickets from 460 internationals at an average of 23.57. 17 years after his retirement, he is still Pakistan's highest wicket-taker in both Test (414) and ODI cricket (502). Notably, he is the only bowler besides Muttiah Muralitharan, with over 500 wickets in the ODI format.
Wasim Akram owns four international hat-tricks (two apiece in ODIs and Tests). The first one came against West Indies in the 1989 Champions Trophy. Six months later, he bagged another hat-trick in the final of the Austral-Asia Cup. Akram clinched the final two hat-tricks in two successive games of Asian Test Championship (1999). Lasith Malinga now has most number of international hat-tricks (5).
Wasim Akram did not feature in First-class cricket before making his international debut. He showcased his talent in the trials conducted at Gaddafi Stadium. Impressed with Akram's bowling, former batsman Javed Miandad vouched for his inclusion in the national squad.
Apart from delivering fiery spells, Akram was also a handy batsman in the lower middle order. He finished with 6,615 runs from 460 matches at 18.73. The tally also includes 3 hundreds and 13 fifties. Interestingly, Akram also has a double hundred to his name in Test cricket. His unbeaten 257 against Zimbabwe is still the highest individual score, batting at number 8.
Akram was a terrific leader too across formats, as he captained Pakistan for over seven years. Under him, Pakistan won 78 and lost 49 out of 134 internationals. His bowling numbers further improved after he took the charge of the side. Akram claimed 169 scalps at an incredible average of 19.00, in the matches (Pakistan won under him).