Shoaib Akhtar Recalls His ‘Huge Mistake’ On Removing Sachin Tendulkar In IPL
During their playing stint, the competition involving Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar generated a great deal of buzz. Whereas the Indian batsman gave Akhtar a hard enough time on several occasions, Tendulkar was dismissed 8 times in international cricket by the Pakistani paceman.
Tendulkar was also bowled by the right-arm pacer once in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which turned out to be a memorable match for the Rawalpindi Express. It was the match featuring Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians (MI) against Sourav Ganguly’s Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the tournament’s debut season in 2008. Pakistani players were taking part in the IPL at the time.
KKR were bowled out for a dismal 67 despite batting first at Mumbai’s — Wankhede Stadium. Though MI handily won that match by 8 wickets, Akhtar removed Tendulkar for a golden duck, which outraged the local audience.
Ganguly told me, Who told you to dismiss Sachin? That too in Mumbai?: Akhtar
Akhtar said that Ganguly had to adjust his fielding stance due to the crowd’ outburst. “We had scored really less. When the match began, the atmosphere was electric. It was Sachin’s city, Mumbai. It was Sachin Tendulkar vs Shoaib Akhtar and we at KKR had Shah Rukh Khan in the stadium as well,” Akhtar told in an Interaction.
“The stadium and entire Mumbai was packed. Ahead of the match, we were having friendly chat and both Sachin and I greeted each other. Tendulkar’s dismissal that day, according to Akhtar, was a “huge mistake” since he had to deal with the outrage from the spectators. Skipper Ganguly advised Akhtar to stay in the middle otherwise the spectators would kill him, as he dismissed Tendulkar in Mumbai.
“It was a beautiful ground and a fantastic atmosphere. Stadium was fully packed. But I dismissed Sachin Tendulkar in the first over itself and that was a huge mistake. Then I got a lot of abuses when I was at fine leg,” the 46-year-old further said.
“Sourav Ganguly told me, ‘Come to mid-wicket, these people will kill you. Who told you to dismiss Sachin? That too in Mumbai?’” recalled Akhtar.
“I worked a lot in Mumbai and got lots of love. I was happy because at Wankhede no one abused my country, no one passed any racist comments. The crowd at Wankhede was very passionate. I wish I played more games there”, added Akhtar.