Shoaib Akhtar opens up about turning down Pakistan captaincy

image-lefbly9mShoaib Akhtar talks about Pakistan captaincy [Twitter]

Former Pakistan pacer and legend Shoaib Akhtar revealed that he was offered the captaincy of the national team in 2002, but he turned down the opportunity.

Akhtar's tenure in the Pakistan cricket team spanned over a long period during which he served under various captains. He made his Test debut under Wasim Akram in November 1997 and later made his ODI debut under Rashid Latif's captaincy.

In a recent conversation with Suno News HD, Akhtar revealed that he had turned down the captaincy offer from the national team, stating that he would have only played for 1.5-2 years had he accepted it. He further added that there was major mismanagement within the team during that period.

Here's what Akhtar said: 

“I wasn't fit enough. I could play three matches out of five. I was offered captaincy in 2002, but then I would've played only 1.5-2 years (if I played all matches).” 

"I supported my teammates, but the board was very unstable. There was mismanagement all over the board. Pakistan itself had faced mismanagement at that time.”

The legendary pace bowler did not mince his words and slammed the domino effect in Pakistan, condemning the nation for its tendency to settle for 'mediocrity' and running away from responsibilities. 

“When your culture endures mediocrity, every person in power is mediocre. The mediocrity continues to increase. You see what the state is today. Is there anything we can manage right now? Nothing. Everyone runs away from responsibility.” 

Akhtar is widely considered the fastest bowler to have ever graced the cricket field. He also holds the remarkable record of having bowled the fastest delivery in the history of the game (161 kph against New Zealand in 2002).

Akhtar's international cricket career spanned 14 years, during which he played in 46 Tests, 163 ODIs, and 15 T20Is for Pakistan. With 178, 247, and 19 wickets in each format, respectively, he was a force to be reckoned with and a nightmare for batters during his peak.