ISLAMABAD: Cricket Hall of Famer Wasim Akram feels the ICC Cricket World Cup triumph completes the career of a professional cricketer saying that the 2011 Mumbai triumph completed the career of India maestro Sachin Tendulkar.
In an exclusive column on the 100 days to go to the ICC CWC 2015 celebrations, Wasim, who played in four ICC Cricket World Cups against Tendulkar, said WC is the ultimate for a professional cricketer. “And the testaments to this are the reactions of Sachin Tendulkar when he lifted the World Cup in his sixth attempt in Mumbai in 2011,” he said, says a press release issued here.
“These were an expression of total satisfaction from a modest and humble player who wanted to win the World Cup so desperately. On 2 April 2011, Tendulkar engraved his name in gold as the greatest, most accomplished and complete cricketer,” he said.
Wasim won the ICC Cricket World Cup with Pakistan in 1992, skippered the side to the final in 1999, and was a member of the sides that reached the semi-final in 1987 and quarter-final in 1996. However, his last World Cup appearance was a forgettable one as Pakistan failed to reach the Super Six stage.
Wasim wrote in contrast, there are some of the modern day icons who have never tasted a WC success. “Ask Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and Jacques Kallis, and they will tell you what is missing from their distinguished careers,” he said.
“Likewise, talk to Mike Gatting and he will share his regret of playing a reserve sweeping shot in the 1987 World Cup final, and I am sure the drop catch of Steve Waugh in Headingley in 1999 still haunts Herschelle Gibbs. Similarly, Waqar Younis will be cursing his early career fitness issues which forced him to return home just before the start of the 1992 World Cup.”
Wasim is the third leading wicket-taker in ICC Cricket World Cup history, behind Glenn McGrath (71) and Muttiah Muralidaran (58), with 55 wickets. In 2009, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Wasim’s column is the first of a series of articles that will be written by some of cricket’s very best former internationals and distributed by the ICC in the lead up to and during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which gets underway on February 14, 2015.