Thought we won World Cup after Eden Gardens frenzy on IPL debut, shares Shoaib Akhtarby SportsCafe Desk
The inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) witnessed a glorious display of first bowling from Pakistan’s former tearaway Shoaib Akhtar but unfortunately only for a paltry three games. Akhtar recalled how the whole Eden Gardens erupted when he scalped 4 wickets on his IPL debut.
Representing Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the frontline Pakistan pacer bagged 4 wickets for just 11 runs to run havoc through the ranks of Virender Sehwag led Delhi Daredevils and earn a hard-fought victory for his side in the low scoring encounter. Akhtar recalled how KKR co-owner Shahrukh Khan went mad watching him dominate.
“When I took 4 wickets, everyone went mad. Even Shah Rukh was running all over the ground, he went mad and was delirious. I thought did I win the world cup, such was the frenzy all around. Shah Rukh said you have won a very big match for us,” Hindustan Times quoted Akhtar.
Then KKR captain Sourav Ganguly shared his experience of leading Akhtar ho stepped down after just three games in the black and golden of KKR. Ganguly recalled that all his attempts to get Akhtar in the middle went in vain as he withdrew citing an injury.
“I knew Shoaib’s blistering pace was bound to make a difference in the shortest format. In fact it did. We knocked out Sehwag’s belligerent Delhi splendidly as the Rawalpindi Express cleaned them up, and Eden roared in delight. Shoaib took four wickets for 11 runs and we won a low-scoring match. It was one of our most memorable wins but we could not sustain it,” Ganguly wrote in his book.
“Handling Shoaib turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined. Instead of turning around the competition for us, Shoaib suddenly decided not to play any more. He withdrew after making only three appearances despite my repeated requests,” he went on to add.