The nice Wasim Akram retired as the perfect left-arm fast of all-time with 916 worldwide wickets, however not like most cricketers who wrestle to get their timing proper, the previous Pakistan captain knew when it was his time to stroll away. Akram, who retired from worldwide cricket after the 2003 World Cup, revealed the second and the individual accountable for making him realise it was time.
“It’s a tough decision alright, no doubt. For any top player to retire from sports is always tough. But everything has a time limit,” Wasim advised Aakash Chopra throughout a chat on YouTube. “In my case, PCB made the decision very easy for me since they dropped me. Every day was a pain going to the game. I wasn’t enjoying it and I thought that’s a sign. I spoke to my late wife, who was in Pakistan back then. She told me, ‘Wasim, if your heart is not there and if you’re cursing each day, it means it’s time.’ And I knew it was time to go.”
And loads has modified since, particularly for cricket as a complete in Pakistan. Despite successful two ICC championships since Akram retired, Pakistan cricket has been muddled in controversies, lack of performances and most of all high quality gamers. While their rivals India have gone from power to power, Pakistan, as many imagine, have taken one step ahead and two steps backwards. If you ask Akram, the difference boils right down to enchancment of the First-Class construction, which the previous pacer reckons is a follow India have bossed.
“Whoever came to the cricket board, he came with a short-team goal. There was no fixing of First-Class structure. What’s been going on for the last 30 years, they did nothing different from it. So that is the reason. There’s plenty of talent in Pakistan. The FC structure has now finally changed but you still need 3-4 years for it to show results,” Akram identified.
“What did India do? The money generated by the IPL, invested whole-heartedly in First-Class cricket. They changed the FC structure, the pay structure, everything. They brought in professionals – they have the best physios and trainers in the world. Former Indian cricketers have become good coaches themselves. They then in turn have employed individual coaches, which is the need of the hour. So that is where the difference is.”