Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Wasim Akram (born June 3, 1966 in Lahore Pakistan) was one of the best left arm fast bowlers that the cricketing world has ever seen. An extravagantly talented cricketer, he was, and remains, a controversial character.
At his best, Wasim Akram was the finest fast bowler of his generation. There were few skills of the fast bowlers armory which he did not have at his disposal: in addition to his genuine pace, pin point control of line and length and seam position he had complete control over both outswing and inswing. He is also credited with being the first to master reverse swing, and by the end of his career was producing it almost at will.
With a very deceptive ball-concealing action, Wasim was gifted with a very effective bouncer and an equally impressive yorker. In partnership with Waqar Younis, he terrorised international batsmen in the 1990s. In 1992 frustrated with the great performance against the English batsmen, the English press started accusing them of ball tampering. Akram brought a libel action against the two former cricketers responsible, Allan Lamb and Ian Botham, and won substantial damages. Vindicated, the duo continued to display and improve the art of reverse swinging a cricket ball. The allegations continued to dog both men; a situation that was not helped when Akram's mentor, Imran Khan, later admitted doctoring balls using a bottle top during his career but only in practice matches.
More serious allegations came later in his career. At a 1996 Cricket World Cup , a number of opposing players, alleged that Akram, along with teammates Salim Malik and Ijaz Ahmed had attempted to fix the results of unimportant matches. All three were suspended by an iterim enquiry of the Pakistan Cricket Board, but later exonerated and reinstated. Further match fixing allegations against the Pakistani team arose again in 1999, while Akram was captain, but remained unproven.
He was the natural successor to Imran Khan as Pakistan's leader and captain, but the match-fixing controversies of the 1990s harmed him, blunting his edge and dimming his lustre. Never a true all rounder (he averaged only 23.62 with the bat), he was sometimes accused of being lethergic with the bat. He did silence his critics in October 1996 when he plundered a monumental 257 out of a total of 553 against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura.
One Day Success
Wasim was instrumental in Pakistan's famous World Cup victory in 1992 in Australia. He also captained Pakistan with success. The high points of his captaincy were the 1994 victory in the World Series in Australia and in 1999, when Pakistan reached the World Cup final for the second time. The low point being the World Cup 1996 in Pakistan and India,when he had to pull out of the crucial quarter final match against India, due to a shoulder and back injury. Critics again accused him of having done this to make illegal monetary gains.
He was Pakistan's top bowler in the 2003 World Cup taking 19 wickets in 7 matches. After the 2003 World Cup when Pakistan failed to reach the top 8 group, eight players were sacked by the Pakistan Cricket Board including Akram himself, Waqar Younis, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Saqlain Mushtaq, Azhar Mahmood and Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Akram retired in 2003, after a brief spell with Hampshire County Cricket Club in England. Controversies still followed Wasim and he has been recently accused of buying a car and then not paying for it and was sued for having modelled in a Indian Whisky advert, and coaching at the Indian cricket team in the preparations for a home series against Pakistan.
Wasim is married to Huma Mufti, daughter of Mr. Humayaun Mufti. Huma and Wasim have 2 sons from their marriage of 10 years.
In his test career, Akram took 414 wickets (a Pakistani record, and 7th all time), at an excellent average of 23.62, and scored 2898 runs, at an average of 22.64. In one-day internationals Wasim was again a force to be reckoned with, taking a record 502 wickets in 356 appearances, scoring 3717 runs along the way.
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