Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram bowled in an era when international cricket was dominated by a good crop of fast bowlers. The 1990s witnessed a steep rise in the quality of fast bowling as almost all the international teams boasted of pacers, who made their presence felt at the highest level.
Akram shared a great partnership with Waqar Younis and also shepherded pace sensation Shoaib Akhtar in his formative years, in what was one of the most successful phase of Pakistan cricket. He was recently asked to name some of the best pacers of his era by his former teammate Basit Ali on his Youtube show.
"There were Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh from West Indies. Glenn McGrath was also there. Allan Donald was also another great bowler. I mean these guys were all good" Akram said.
Just after taking Donald's name Akram was reminded of an incident that happened when he was playing county cricket in England for Lancashire. He remembered how an express delivery from the South African left him with twenty stitches under his chin.
"I have twenty stitches here, right under my chin. I think the year was 1989 and I had gone out to bat at number 8 on an uneven pitch. He bowled a short delivery and he bowled easily in excess of 150 kilometers per hour. I was also a youngster in my early twenties and I tried to pull the ball. It hit the top edge of the bat and hit me under the chin.
"I had a psyche for revenge as I knew I will not leave this bowler. I went to the hospital and the dentist had to put ten stitches on the inside and ten on the outside as it was a deep cut. I was asked to take rest for a couple of days but I said I want to got out there and bowl. I bowled in the evening and we won the match and interestingly Donald never came out to bat as he was scared," Akram reminisced.
Akram was the star of Pakistan's World Cup win in 1992 and captained the team to the final of the 1999 ICC World Cup.