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'Thank God I’m Not Playing,' Shoaib Akhtar Takes a Brutal Dig At Modern-Day Batters

image-lrom8z4tShoaib Akhtar was the bowler of his time. (X.com)

Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is thankful that he is not playing cricket now, saying he wouldn't have tolerated the disrespectful behaviour of new-age batters towards bowlers.

As a bowler characterised by pace and aggression, Akhtar presented a formidable challenge for batters. During his spells, he engaged in sledging, delivering quick and well-directed bumpers that occasionally hit batters on the helmet. 

He was fast, intimidating, and utterly unplayable on his best days. Akhtar significantly raised the impact of pace bowlers during his time, becoming the first bowler to break the 100 mph mark.

Reflecting on the changes in modern cricket, Akhtar emphasised his gratitude for not being part of an era where new-age batters disrespect bowlers. 

Expressing his thoughts on the current state of bowlers, Akhtar stated, 

"If I was still playing? Thank god I'm not playing in this era! The way the batters insult bowlers these days, I wouldn't have tolerated that. Having said that, it would've been difficult. I used to get warm-up in four years. In a season, I used to bowl around 800-900 overs. I would've played around 20 leagues in a season," as shared in an interview with the Hindustan Times.

In contrast to the past, modern bowlers face challenges with the cricket ball in limited-overs matches, where they don't have the luxury to use the same ball and induce reverse swing. The rules and conditions have changed, and bowlers find it challenging to make an impact. 

The evolution of the game has seen batsmen easily posting big scores, aided by flat pitches and white Kookaburra balls that offer little movement after the initial overs.

Akhtar highlighted these changes, emphasising the difficulty for express pacers like him to bowl at the current age. The absence of opportunities to bring in reverse swing and the changing dynamics of pitches have made it easier for contemporary batters to take on bowling attacks with relative ease.