Shoaib Akhtar (born 13 August 1975) is a Pakistani cricket commentator, YouTuber, and former cricketer who played all formats of the game over a fourteen year career. He is recognized as the fastest bowler in the history of cricket, delivering a world record top speed of 161.3 km/h (100.23 mph) in a pool match against England during the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Akhtar was nicknamed “Rawalpindi Express” and “Tiger” as a tribute to his hometown and fast bowling. He is also the first bowler to break the 100 mph barrier, doing so twice in his career.
Akhtar made his Test debut in November 1997 as an opening fast bowler and played his first One Day International three months later. Akhtar has been involved in several controversies during his career, often accused of unsportsmanlike conduct, despite his commendations for significantly impacting games in Pakistan’s favour. Akhtar was sent home during a Test match series in Australia in 2005 for alleged poor attitude. A year later, he was embroiled in a drug scandal after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance nandrolone. However, the ban imposed on him was lifted on appeal.
In September 2007, he received a ban. On 1 April 2008, Akhtar was banned for five years for publicly criticising the Pakistan Cricket Board. In October 2008, the Lahore High Court in Pakistan suspended the five-year ban and Akhtar was selected in the 15-man squad for the Twenty20 Quadrangular Tournament in Canada. Pakistani judge Rana Bhagwandas once stated that Akhtar is a legend of Pakistan cricket. Akhtar retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup.
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