Umran Malik and his wicket-taking abilities, along with his ability to bowl steadily at 155 km / h, are the biggest talking points in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL). His breakneck speed has also drawn comparisons with Pakistani cricket legend Shoaib Akhtar, who became the first cricketer to break the 100 mph barrier in international cricket before setting the fastest delivery at the 2003 World Cup. And the legendary pacer, earlier this week, revealed the story behind a record 161.3 kph throw.
On February 22, 2003, Akhtar set a world record of 100.23 mph in a match against England, and opener Nick Knight was batting.
Speaking to SportsKeeda, Akhtar recalled how he was geared up to break the 100 mph barrier. “When you hit 155 kmph as a bowler, remember that you still have 5 kph. However, you need specific training to add extra speed to your bowling. Before I broke the 100 mile record, I was bowling at 157-158 kph. I was a little stunned about it, wondering why it wasn’t happening, ”he said.
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Former Pakistani cricketers revealed details of their particular training, including switching to 26 yards of pitch practice and bowling with old and old balls before pulling vehicles and trucks at night.
“I started running with tires but soon realized they were lighter. Next, I started pulling small vehicles on my shoulders. I was pulling vehicles at night because Islamabad was less public. I kept pace with it. Started pulling, I pulled the truck about 4-5 miles.
“When I bowled on the 26-yard strips, my speed dropped to 142-143 km per hour, but my goal was to touch 150 km on 26-yard surfaces. I was aiming to take wickets from those old balls.
“I gradually returned to bowling with relatively new balls. I was playing with body mechanics.
Akhtar revealed that by the time the 2003 World Cup came, he was very confident that he would break the record, he told his team-mates about it after he faced them at the Nets.
“When I bowled at the Nets at the 2003 World Cup, the batters would say to me, ‘You are killing us, you are bowling very quickly. What have you done to increase your speed?’ I told them that I had trained very hard because I wanted to break the 100-mile barrier.
“I told my teammates Saklane (Mushtaq) and Azhar (Mahmood) that I would break the record at the World Cup,” he said.
Akhtar did not want to stop him, but his body could only be allowed to the limit.
“After I hit 161.3 km per hour, I thought I could bowl even faster. But then I started to have cracks in my body – on my back, on my hamstrings.