Top 10 Lesser Known Facts about Wasim Akram

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He is regarded as possibly the greatest left arm bowler ever to play the game of cricket and in addition to that he was an inspirational leader as well who carried Pakistan to many memorable victories. It is none other than the swing wizard Wasim Akram who is under discussion here and this article will take you through 10 of the least known facts associated with the great man.

10. He Was Once Arrested for Smoking Cannabis

Last but certainly not the least in these rankings is something that might be a bit shocking for you but you might also put it down to an indiscretion of youth. During Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies in 1993 Wasim Akram along with a few others were caught smoking cannabis in the private beach of their hotel in Grenada and subsequently arrested. Although the charges were dropped, it continued to be a stigma because Akram was the captain of his team at the time.

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9. His Favourite Holiday Destination is London

A deserved entry at number 9 is Wasim Akram’s favourite holiday destination and contrary to popular belief that it is in Sydney his favourite spot is in London, the capital of the country where he spent a major part of his professional life. Akram spent close to a decade in England playing in the county circuit and in the meantime developed an affinity for England, which means that even though he does not play in county cricket anymore he spends 2-3 months a year in London because of the city’s brilliant shopping districts and gastronomic delights.

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8. He is a Keen Art Collector

In at number 8 is an interest that Wasim Akram developed later on in life probably after seeing the world during his days as a cricketer and the interest is art collection. Nowadays he is a regular at some of the exclusive art galleries and art auctions in Lahore and Karachi and his interests lie in sculptures and paintings, which he buys in order to decorate his palatial 10000 square feet home in Karachi. However, it is unknown who his favourite artist is.

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7. His Favourite Sport outside Cricket is Table Tennis

Sportsmen usually like to unwind by playing another game and just like it is golf in case of many cricketers these days, in case of Wasim Akram it is table tennis. In fact, before he became fascinated by Imran Khan and took to cricket, Wasim used to be a keen table tennis player who participated in many table tennis tournaments in his school and college. However, once he realised his real potential as a cricketer table tennis had to take a back seat but even now he plays the game once in a while whenever he feels like it.

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6. His Wife Was a Doctor

Next in at number 6 is Wasim Akram’s late wife Huma’s profession which was never a much discussed matter probably due to the start status that the player himself enjoyed. However, it must be noted that it was his wife Hume who took care of his medical needs when Akram was first diagnosed with diabetes and in fact it is also true that it was only because of the mental strength he got form his wife that he was able to continue playing as a top professional at the highest level.

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5. He Suffered from Diabetes during His Playing Days

You might have known that Wasim Akram played with contact lenses for the major part of his career but something that does not get enough mention is that he suffered from diabetes as well in the latter years. Akram was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 31 and at the peak of his powers as the world’s leading fast bowler. In fact he thought his career would be over but support from his family and fellow cricketers enabled him to get over it and continued to soldier on in his quest for bigger things. You will find it interesting that he used to keep chocolates with the on field umpires so that he could recover if his sugar levels ever went below the normal level.

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4. He Was One of the Fan Favourites in Country Cricket

At number 4 is Wasim Akram’s iconic status among the supporters of one of the biggest county cricket teams in England- Lancashire. He played for them for a decade between 1988 and 1998 and in that period he delivered numerous superlative performances that made him a fan favourite. As a matter of fact, when England would play Pakistan at Old Trafford (Lancashire’s home ground) there used to be a sizeable chunk of the spectators who would cheer for Wasim whenever he came on to bowl with the famous chant- ‘Wasim for England’.

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3. He Started Playing Cricket Because of His Idol

If you log on to YouTube and check out some of the videos of Imran Khan’s bowling then you would realise what a regal sight it must have been for any young man and more so in his native Pakistan. Wasim Akram grew up watching Imran decimate batting line ups all over the world and in fact before that he did not have much interest in sports at all but after watching Imran bowl he took to fast bowling. Sometimes, you might wonder what a talent the cricketing world might have missed out on had Akram not become a fan of Imran Khan.

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2. He Studied In One of the Best Colleges in Pakistan

Now, it is a well known fact that the majority of Pakistani cricketers are not as well educated as the cricketers from other countries but Wasim Akram along with a few others is an exception. Wasim Akram studied at the famous Islamia College in Lahore which has been consistently ranked as one of the finest colleges in the country. The reason it is at number 2 is because of the fact that this is an aspect of his life that has never got much coverage probably because of his stupendous talent as a bowler. However, if you have heard him doing commentary then you must not have missed the erudition in his voice.

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1. He Was Not Even in His College Cricket Team When He Was Selected

This one should have been a part of cricketing folklore but lamentably it isn’t. You would be shocked to know that a bowler of Wasim Akram’s calibre was not even a part of his college cricket team when he was handpicked by Javed Miandad, who spotted the raw talent that was bursting through. At that time in 1985 Wasim used to play club cricket for Pakistan Automobiles Corporation but he got his break when he impressed Javed when he was recruited as a net bowler for the Pakistan team. So, you can well imagine why this one is the undisputed number one in these rankings because of the fact that Akram’s biggest break in life as a cricketer remains shrouded in anonymity.

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CONCLUSION

So there ends the list of 10 of the least known facts from the life of Wasim Akram- one of the best bowlers ever to play the game. Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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