Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan speedster, popularly known as ‘Rawalpindi Express’ has mentioned that Indian bowlers who batted lower down the order requested him to dismiss them rather getting hurt by facing his bouncers or beamers apart from revealing that teammate Mohammad Yousuf wanted him to break Muttiah Muralitharan’s fingers and mentioning that Matthew Maynard was the batsman to suffer the most grievous injury off his bowling.
Muttiah Muralitharan who has 800 wickets in Tests and is the leading wicket-taker in Tests also requested Shoaib Akhtar not to hurl quick deliveries at him. Shoaib Akhtar, who played for Worcester in England’s county cricket hit Glamorgan’s Matthew Maynard on his lower jaw as the batsman fell on his stumps. Right away, Shoaib Akhtar was worried whether the injury was a fatal one.
Shoaib Akhtar Feared Whether Glamorgan’s Matthew Maynard Die From Injury
Shoaib Akhtar talked about his cricketing career during an interaction with Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show Cric Cast where he mentioned that he injured a lot of players while playing for Worcester, but Matthew Maynard suffered the most and Shoaib Akhtar feared whether he would die from injury.
“In county cricket while I was playing for Worcester, a lot of players got him by my ball when I thought Oh God I have done something wrong. But I don’t know why I was so mean.
“There was one occasion when Matthew Maynard, a batsman playing for Glamorgan, I told him that let’s go out as it was getting darker since it was not comfortable to face my pace. But he told that he will face me.
“So, I went round the wicket and bowled him a quick bouncer and the situation was little dull, that hit him on the jaw and he fell on the wickets. I felt that he might die, he was flattened on the ground, he was in a lot of pain. He fell on the wicket and was out as well,” Akhtar said.
Matthew Maynard played in 4 tests and 14 one-dayers where he failed miserably with the bat although scoring more than 24,799 runs in 395 first-class matches at an average of 42.53 besides 59 centuries. Matthew Maynard played for Glamorgan from 1985 to 2005.
Shoaib Akhtar also regretted when people were hit by his beamer or bouncer. Shoaib Akhtar terrorized batsmen across the world and is believed to get most batsmen retired hurt off his bowling.
“I felt bad but every time I used to hit people, I used to feel that this shouldn’t have happened,” he said.
The 45-year-old also referred an occasion where he hit Gary Kirsten below eye despite warning him not to attempt playing a hook shot off his bowling.
“I had warned Gary Kirsten as well, asking him not to hook me. I told him not to do it as a 36-year-old to the fastest bowler. He also got hit very hard. Whenever he meets me, he shows the mark under his eyes as a souvenir from my side,” Akhtar remarked.
Gary Kirsten was the first to notice Shoaib Akhtar during a 1994/1995 series at nets but Shoaib Akhtar arrived on the international scene only in 1997.
Shoaib Akhtar: Muttiah Muralitharan Moved Away From Stumps
Shoaib Akhtar responded when asked if any batsmen asked him to bowl gently and named Muttiah Muralitharan and Indian tail-enders amongst the feared ones.
“There were lot of batsmen like that. Muralitharan was there, lot of players from India, all tail-enders. They used to ask me to get them out but not hit them as it would hit them hard. They used to say that they have wife and kids and that their parents wouldn’t like it.”
Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, an off-spinner asked him to bowl slowly and even moved away from stumps to get out bowled.
“Muralitharan used to tell me to bowl slowly and he would move away from the stumps. He used to get out very easily.”
Mohammad Yousuf, however, advised Shoaib Akhtar to break Muttiah Muralitharan’s fingers as he faced difficulty in judging the spin wizard’s ball.
“Yousuf used to ask me to hit him, to break his fingers as he couldn’t play him. I had bowled a couple of bouncers to Murali and he told me not to do it else he will die. He told that he was very fragile. So I used to feel shy but Yousuf wanted me to hit him,” he stated.
Shoaib Akhtar is the first bowler to record a top speed of 100 miles per hour and represented Pakistan from 1997 to 2011 claiming 178 wickets of 46 tests and 247 wickets in 163 one-dayers averaging less than 26.