The Pakistan cricket team possessed the most feared bowling attack in the world during the 1990s with the demon duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis – nicknamed the ‘Sultans of Swing’.
Regarded as two of the greets fast bowlers in the history of the game, their trademark deliveries were their variation of swing bowling at great pace, particularly the reverse swing of the ball.
Right handed Waqar, known as the ‘Burewala Express’ or ‘Toe Crusher’ took 373 test and 416 ODI wickets and has the best strike rate for any bowler over 350 test scalps. His fastest delivery was clock at 153km in South Africa in 1993.
South paw Wasim is considered one of the founders of and the finest exponent of reverse wing bowling. He is the only bowler to this day who could produce the ‘double sings’, moving the ball twice in one delivery. His speciality was the lethal inswinging yorker. In a sixteen year career he took 414 test and 502 ODI wickets. Wisden selected him in the all-time World XI to mark the 150th Anniversary of its famous cricketing almanack.
Good team mates? Hardly! The relationship between the two greats was not convivial, with neither speaking to each other on or off the field. Their rivalry was so intense that, “every time Waqar took a wicket, I too would get charged up to do the same,” Wasim said after they both retired. “It was the opponents who suffered from the rivalry, not the Pakistan cricket team,” he claimed.
Time has softened the conflict. They are good friend snow and both have been inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame.