Pak pace bowler Zia ul Haq says ‘Wasim Akram has always been my inspiration’

Karachi: Pakistan left-arm pace bowler Zia ul Haq has described legendary Wasim Akram as his inspiration.

“Wasim Akram has always been my inspiration, I just loved watching him bowl. I only watched him when he was at the tail end of his illustrious career but the collection of videos and DVDs of his bowling have always been an inspiration to me. He would be the bowler that I would pretend to be when we were playing in the streets or at school. He’s definitely my hero,” quoted him, as saying.

Zia has, however, met Akram after a practice session for PIA, but he said he was too overawed by the experience to speak to Akram.

“We had just finished a practice session with PIA and were sitting and relaxing on the outfield. Wasim (Akram) as an ex PIA cricketer still keeps in touch with the PIA setup and he turned up that particular day. Unfortunately he did not get a chance to see my bowling as the session had ended,” he said

When I saw Wasim, I was so nervous that I couldn’t say anything to him. He was chatting to some of the other players but I was just too shy to speak with him. Hopefully at some point in the future I will see him again and this time I am determined to speak with him and get some advice regarding my bowling,” he added.

Zia recalled that his interest in cricket grew from school level and he started to take cricket more seriously after attending the Gaggoo Mandi cricket club under the guidance of Nadeem Iqbal.

He said he regularly watched videos of Akram as his inspiration to become a first class cricketer which eventually led to his current stint with PIA.

“Like most Pakistani boys I would watch cricket on television whenever I could and try and emulate my heroes. I’d watch Pakistan matches on television and then try and copy what I saw from the bowlers. We also had at home a collection of old matches and I loved watching videos of those matches,” he added.