JAMAICA – Former West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy has revealed that Pakistani legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar made him question of whether he wanted to play cricket again, saying it was a joy to watch the Rawalpindi Express bowl.
The 37-year-old recalled an incident that happened when Akhtar hit West Indies’ legendary former batsman Brian Lara in the head with a vicious bouncer when Sammy was on debut.
“When I made my debut for the West Indies in the Champions Trophy, I remember Pakistan playing West Indies at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire and they were opening with Mohammad Sami, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. I saw Shoaib Akhtar bowling a bouncer to Brian Lara and hit him in the head. Brian Lara fell back probably almost unconscious. I was sitting and I was 19 years old next to Dwayne Bravo. I literally questioned whether I wanted to play cricket again. Shoaib Akhtar did that to me,” Sammy said.
The former all-rounder further revealed that he told this story to Shoaib Akhtar himself a few days ago in Islamabad.
“I met him four days ago in Islamabad and I gave him that story. He said ‘Brian clipped him for four on the first ball’ and I guess that was his response. It was a joy to watch the Rawalpindi Express coming down with his hair flying. Shoaib Akhtar with his pace. In the current day, even though I am not playing I would pad up easily against any bowler and try to hit them out of the park,” he said.
Shoaib Akhtar has bagged 178, 247 and 19 wickets in 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 Twenty20s, respectively.