'I'll Hug and Kiss You...' Umran Malik Receives Advice from Shoaib Akhtar
Umran Malik has made waves in cricketing fraternity with his raw pace (Twitter)
Legendary Pakistan pacer, Shoaib Akhtar, known for his fiery bowling and aggressive temperament, has imparted invaluable advice to Indian fast bowler, Umran Malik, ahead of the latter's inclusion in the Indian team for the three-match ODI series against Australia.
The former speedster, who still holds the record for the fastest delivery in world cricket, which he bowled at 161 kmph against England during the 2003 World Cup, has been a source of inspiration for many fast bowlers worldwide, with many having attempted to break his record but have fallen short.
The pressure has now shifted to the young and talented Indian pacer Malik, who recently bowled the fastest delivery ever by an Indian international bowler, clocking 157 kmph in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and subsequently, a 155 kmph delivery against Sri Lanka in January, resulting in the dismissal of Sri Lanka's captain, Dasun Shanaka.
Speaking to News24, Akhtar lauded Umran's skills and commented on the young pacer's ruthlessness in his dismissal of Shanaka.
The Pakistan veteran stated that the field should belong to Umran, and he must not break down or stop practicing regularly.
"Never reduce your aggression, even if you are getting beaten a lot, then also don't reduce your aggression. Always bowl fast, and never leave it. When you go to the field, the ownership of the ground has to be yours. Don't break and train a lot, " said Akhtar.
The erstwhile cricketer urged the Jammu-born cricketer to uphold the country's pride and not let the people's respect down as he is playing for a great country.
“You are playing for a great country. People care a lot and respect a lot. So never let down their feelings and bowl with a big heart," added the 47-year old stalwart.
Akhtar went on to explain how the Indian youngster could increase his speed, stating that while he used to take 26 yards to bowl, the young seamer takes only 20 yards.
Akhtar suggested that by increasing the run-up distance to 26 yards, Umran could develop different muscles, ultimately improving his speed. He also expressed his willingness to help the Sunrisers Hyderabad quick whenever required.
Finally, the veteran pacer playfully expressed his willingness to embrace and congratulate Umran if he were to break his record, which has remained unbroken for 20 years
"If you want to break my record, please take it away. It's been 20 years and it hasn't been broken, please break it. I will be the first guy to hug and kiss you," concluded the former cricketer.