South Asia is seen as arguably the most cricket-crazy region in the world and Pakistan is a large part of that. They have been an iconic cricket country for a long time as they have produced top-tier talent for the longest time.
Whenever you look back at Pakistan’s history, you can see that there are some fantastic teams and players that have represented the flag. The biggest names in Pakistan’s cricket history are well-known to their fans but others should learn more about them.
Akram is one of the best fast bowlers in the history of cricket. Pundits hold him in high regard to the point where he is considered the greatest left-arm fast bowler of all time and an inspiration for Pakistan’s future cricket stars. Akram has countless stat records through the years including his world record in List A cricket with 881 wickets taken.
Akram’s playstyle relied on a mix of speed and bowling power. His biggest strength was his mastery of the reverse swing which meant he loved to control the ball’s spin which forces the batsman to make quick adjustments that end up being too late.
Aside from bowling, Akram was also a solid batsman during his time. His powerful performances on the field helped him reach a career-high of 86 runs.
Akram earned his status as an elite bowling all rounder with his stellar performances throughout his career that spanned from 1984 to 2003. He was one of the two Sultans of Swing for Pakistan with the other one being Waqar Younis. Akram loved to bowl towards the stumps which forced his opponents to make tough decisions about whether they would hit it or not.
As a left-handed player, Akram was an even tougher matchup for his opponents because they were not used to playing against that kind of player. He not only was a southpaw but he made sure to trick his opponents when needed with his off-putting style.
During his career, Afridi played the all-rounder role which meant that he was a reliable player on both sides. He started as a fast bowler and he considers himself the best one for the most part. However, when he scored a century in one of his maiden outings in the One-Day International (ODI) format, everyone saw his potential as an all-rounder and not just a bowler.
As he moved to become an all-rounder, fans and pundits began to notice Shahid’s power. He was aggressive and his hits were extremely powerful. This led to Indian rival Ravi Shastri giving him the ‘Boom Boom’ nickname because of the powerful hits he always made.
Shahid has three of the seven quickest ODI centuries ever, which shows that he is not only effective with his power but also efficient with his hits. Alongside this, he also has a penchant for hitting long sixes which is why he holds the record for having the most sixes in ODI cricket history.
As the second half of the Sultans of Swing, Younis was also a phenomenal player during his playing days. He is also seen as one of the best bowlers to ever play cricket, especially with the reverse swing.
Younis has a personal record bowl of 153 km/h or 95.1 mph which he made against South Africa in 1993. This was after his back injuries which reduced his bowling speeds but he still had flashes like that match.
With his focus on the reverse swing, it was tough to play against Younis but he always had some unique bowls which prevented opposing batsmen from being comfortable. He was given another nickname Banana Swing Bowler because he loved to swing the ball in the air at a high speed before throwing it. It threw off batsmen which led to wins for Pakistan.
With time, Pakistan has proven that it will produce incredible players almost every year. There will always be a top player in the development space which is why Pakistan’s future cricket stars will have a good path to success.