Through the 2000s, Shoaib Akhtar was at the peak of his powers. The Pakistan pacer was undoubtedly the fastest bowler in the world. Batsmen feared his sight of steaming in and bowling a ball at 95 to 100 mph. In fact, Akhtar was the first bowler to have breached the 100 mph mark.
However, there were a few batsmen with whom Shoaib Akhtar had some great battles on the field. One of them was the Australian opener, Matthew Hayden. During the 2000s, like Akhtar, Hayden was also on top of his cricket. The left-handed batsman was churning runs for fun against every other opposition in international cricket. At one point in time, he also held the record for the highest ever Test score.
Hayden used to call me by different names, says Shoaib Akhtar
Since their retirements, Akhtar and Hayden have only said kind words for each other. Hayden has often credited Akhtar as one of the best bowlers in the world while the latter has revealed he loved the competitiveness of the Australian opener. In a recent tweet by a Pakistan journalist, a little more about the relationship between these two legends were revealed.
According to the tweet posted by Saj Sadiq from his official Twitter handle, Shoaib Akhtar recalled an interesting incident. The Rawalpindi express revealed that Hayden used to call him by different names such as ‘C-class actor’ and ‘low-grade fast-bowler’. He also revealed that Hayden would tell him to bowl faster everytime. Akhtar also revealed he was shocked after seeing that the Aussie wouldn’t move an inch even after getting hit by the pacer five times in the space of three overs.
“Matthew Hayden used to call me a C-class actor and low-grade fast-bowler. He would tell me to bowl faster and faster and faster. I hit him around 5 times in the space of 3 overs, but that guy never moved an inch and I was shocked to see that,” the 44-year-old said. Recently, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting had also revealed that Shoaib Akhtar was the fastest bowler he had ever faced.
Shoaib Akhtar "Matthew Hayden used to call me a C-class actor and low-grade fast-bowler. He would tell me to bowl faster and faster and faster. I hit him around 5 times in the space of 3 overs, but that guy never moved an inch and I was shocked to see that" #Cricket pic.twitter.com/MIfBbmwsyi
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 16, 2020
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