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Rediff.com  » Cricket » I have left the stage of bowling fast: Shoaib Akhtar

I have left the stage of bowling fast: Shoaib Akhtar

Last updated on: March 2, 2011 17:21 IST

'I have left the stage of bowling fast'

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Bikash Mohapatra

He once bowled the fastest delivery ever, clocking 100.2 mph (161.3 kmph).

That was about six years back.

What followed was a plethora of controversies, reprimands and long periods out of the game owing to a slew of injuries.

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And all that has meant the man, popularly referred to as the Rawalpindi Express, has slowed down.

Asked why he is not bowling as fast, as he is known to bowl, these days, Shoaib Akhtar became a tad philosophical.

"I have long ago left the stage of bowling fast," he said, going on to add that his priorities have changed over the years.


Image: Shoaib Akhtar
Photographs: Getty Images
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'I am more mature now'

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The Pakistani ace, who has 246 ODI wickets to his credit, admitted generating pace is not something that gives him the thrill anymore.

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"I have crossed 100 miles and don't wish to do that any more," said Shoaib, adding, "I still bowl at a good pace though. And that's good enough for me.

"I am more mature now. I am focusing more now on getting wickets than bowling fast."


Image: Shoaib Akhtar

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'Shorter run-up helps me preserve energy'

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Quizzed if that was the reason behind his shortened run up (of late), Shoaib could not help but smile.

"Obviously, I am almost 36 now," he explained, adding, "I am still bowling as fast as I possibly could.

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"However, having a shorter run-up helps me preserve energy. It is helping me out in a way that I am able to bowl 10 overs with ease."

So now that pace has given way for accuracy, Pakistan can definitely expect contributions from their spearhead.


Image: Shoaib Akhtar

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