‘The plan was to beat the Indian team psychologically’: Shoaib Akhtar recalls Indo-Pak tour in 2004

By: Sports Desk |

May 14, 2022 1:04:23 pm

Shoaib Akhtar became the first man to cross the 100 mph barrier in international cricket. (Reuters)

The Indian national cricket team toured Pakistan in the 2003–04 cricket season for a series comprising five ODIs and three Tests. India went on to win the ODI series 3-2 and the Test series 2-1. Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar recalled his memories from the tour and revealed how the green men had plans for their arch-rivals in the Test series in 2004.

“The plan was to beat the Indian team psychologically in the Test series in 2004. We wanted to create pacy wickets for Indian batters and scare them with sheer pace, Akhtar said in an interaction with former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who was also part of that tour.

Kaif also described the love and respect which Indian players got on their Pakistan tour in 2004. “We got a lot of love and respect in Pakistan during our tour. Not only me, Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly everyone will say the same about that tour”

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“We had to take permission to go out for shopping. But when I went shopping, no one was ready to take money. Everyone used to say – you have come from India to play cricket, you are our guests,” he added.

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Kaif also recalled another tale about Akhtar from the India Pakistan match in the 2003 World Cup in Centurion where Akhtar was so tired after his fiery bowling spell in the match, that he and Sachin Tendulkar ran four as the Pakistan speedster gave chase to a ball.

“During the 2003 World Cup match against Pakistan, Shoaib Akhtar chased a ball that was going towards the boundary. We ran four! After his (Akhtar’s) spell, Sachin flicked a ball and Akhtar gave chase from mid-on towards the mid-wicket boundary. I clearly remember that we ran four.”

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