Akhtar's retirement was planned and expected, says Mohammad Wasim
Karachi, Mar 19(ANI): Former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Wasim has said that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's retirement from international cricket was not an impulsive and unplanned decision.
Wasim, who has captained Akhtar at various levels of cricket, said that the Rawalpindi Express had thought long and hard about the decision to retire and contrary to some stories it was not a decision that the 35-year-old had made without any thought.
"Akhtar spoke to me before the World Cup and said that he was going to retire from playing international cricket after the World Cup. It's not an impulsive decision or a surprise to me, it was all planned and I expected it," PakPassion.net quoted Wasim, as saying.
"The aches and pains were getting too much for him and although I did say to him that perhaps he should continue to play Twenty20 cricket for Pakistan, he felt that it was time to move on and give younger bowlers in Pakistan a chance. He's thought about this decision for a while now and didn't just suddenly wake up one morning and feel that's enough," he added.
Wasim maintains that whilst in international cricket, captains could not always get the best out of Akhtar, he always managed to get the best out of the Rawalpindi Express in domestic cricket.
"You have to be able to handle all of your players differently and Akhtar always did the business for me. We have a very good mutual relationship and he knows what I expect and I know how to get the best out of him,"
"Sometimes he needs an arm round the shoulder and other times, he needs something a bit sterner, but it's always been about what to say at the right time to Akhtar to get the best out of him and motivate him. It was all about knowing what made him tick and that is a trick that some captains missed with him for Pakistan," he added.
The 33-year-old further reckons that despite some exciting prospects in domestic cricket in Pakistan, Akhtar will be difficult to replace.
"Bowlers of Akhtar's style, pace and skill level don't come round very often and yes he will be missed and it will be difficult to replace him. At the moment I can't really think of any bowler in Pakistan who can replace Akhtar and rattle the opposition like only he could," Wasim said. (ANI)
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