Tuesday, October 3

ICC has successfully finished real cricket in last 10 years, well done : Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan fast bowler, has hit out severely at the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Rawalpindi Express reckons that the quality of cricket has degraded over the years and the apex cricket board is solely to blame for the same. Akhtar vented his frustration over some playing conditions, which has made it somewhat tough for the bowlers to flourish.

The veteran expressed his agony during an interaction with former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar for ESPNcricinfo’s podcast. In the chat, Manjrekar asked about his opinions on the fast bowlers going slow and spinners bowling faster in T20 cricket. It was then that Akhtar lashed out at the ICC.

You did what you intended to: Shoaib Akhtar

“Can I tell you something bluntly? They (ICC) are finishing the cricket. I am openly saying that in last 10 years, ICC has successfully finished cricket, and I would say job well done guys. Jo socha thaa apne woh kiya (You did what you intended to),” Akhtar was quoted as saying.

Akhtar feels that the rule for bouncers in limited-overs cricket should be changed. He thinks so because of the field restrictions and also that two new balls are being used from both ends. He is also dying to see a competition of the level between him and Sachin Tendulkar.

“I have been saying repeatedly that change bouncer rule (one per over). You have two new balls and four fielders outside. Please ask ICC whether in last 10 years, quality of cricket has gone up or gone down. Where are those Sachin versus Shoaib contests?” he added.

Speaking on bowling to Tendulkar, Akhtar said that he didn’t take the aggressive route against him since he had respect for the Master Blaster. But once Shoaib peppered Sachin with bumpers knowing that the legendary batsman had a tennis elbow.

“But yes, I would try to out-think him. Like in the 2006 tour of Pakistan, I knew he had tennis elbow problems and he can’t hook or pull me, so I bowled a barrage of bouncers to keep him quiet,” he added.

In his career, Shoaib has dismissed Sachin quite a few times. However, the latter didn’t forget to return the favours either. It was their face-off that kept millions of fans glued to their television sets.

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