In a mark of tribute the Pakistan cricket authorities have renamed Rawalpindi’s KRL Stadium after the legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar.
Sharing the news on social media, Shoaib said: “Humbled and honoured to share that the historic KRL Stadium in Rawalpindi has been renamed as Shoaib Akhtar Stadium. I am rarely ever lost for words but today I am! I truly have no words to thank everyone for the love and respect I have received over the years. I have always done my best to serve Pakistan with utmost dedication and passionate determination, with integrity. To always keep our flag high. Today and everyday I wear the star on my chest with pride. Thank you, Pakistan. Zindabad.”
Akhtar is recognised as the fastest bowler in the history of international cricket, having bowled a delivery at 161.3 km/h (100.23 mph), in an ODI against England – a pool match during the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Akhtar was nicknamed “Rawalpindi Express”, in reference to his speed and hometown, and “Tiger”. He was also the first bowler to be recorded bowling at 100 miles per hour, and did so twice in his career.
Akhtar who made his Test debut in November 1997 as an opening fast bowler and played his first One Day International three months later, retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup.