November 8, 1984
Storm on debut
On his first-class debut, as an 18-year-old, in Rawalpindi
, returns figures of 20.5-6-50-7 against a touring New Zealand line-up including John Wright, Bruce Edgar, John F Reid and the Crowe brothers.
November 23, 1984
Makes his ODI debut
, going for 31 runs in four overs against New Zealand in a match reduced to 20-overs-a-side.
A natural progression
One more first-class match later, finds himself on the plane to New Zealand for a full tour. Makes his Test debut
, and takes 2 for 105 in an innings defeat. Two weeks later, in the Dunedin Test
, the genius is announced: Akram's two five-fors in only his second Test overshadow Richard Hadlee's eight-wicket match haul, but can't prevent a two-wicket loss for Pakistan.
February 24, 1985
First five-for in ODIs
First signs that he will go on to end up as perhaps the greatest bowler in ODIs. Takes the wickets of Kepler Wessels, Dean Jones, Allan Border and Kim Hughes in his 5 for 21 to set up a win at the MCG
Starts what will be a hugely successful association with Lancashire. Over the next 10 years, becomes one of the county's most successful overseas players. Fans at games chant "Wasim for England".
The Ws come together
The lethal combination of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram is formed. In their first ODI together
, Wasim takes 5 for 38 to set up an 11-run win against West Indies. In their first Test innings together
, both take four wicket each for about the same number of runs. They would continue competing with each other in same manner, demolishing batting line-ups in the process.
December 10, 1990
Moves from 138 Test wickets to 142 in one over of the Lahore Test
, a dropped catch denying him a hat-trick. He goes on to take four international hat-tricks.
March 25, 1992
The mother of all rippes
Adding reverse to the swing
Along with Waqar, rattles England with the then inexplicable phenomenon, reverse-swing. Ball-tampering allegations fly, but there is no video evidence of any wrongdoing. Thirteen years later, when England win the Ashes through reverse-swing, demands an apology for the cheating allegations.
Cricketer of the Year
The ball-tampering allegations matter little as Wisden names Akram one of the cricketers of 1992.
In a sudden turn of events, is appointed to succeed Javed Miandad as Pakistan's captain. In his first international
as captain, scores a quick 38 and concedes 34 runs in 10 overs in a 49-run win over Zimbabwe. Wisden
says: "As captain he will be recognised more clearly and more widely as head of state than whichever general or politician holds the nominal office in Islamabad."
March 9, 1996
Just before the start of the World Cup quarter-final
in Bangalore, pulls out citing an injury. After Pakistan's defeat, there are angry protests outside his home and riots across the country. Match-fixing allegations are thrown around, and a government inquiry is launched. Akram, though, continues leading the side.
September 10, 1998
Match-fixing allegations come back
An inquiry committee headed by Justice Chudhary Ejaz Yousuf recommends
that Akram, Saleem Malik and Ijaz Ahmed not be allowed to play Tests until final conclusions are reached.
September 14, 1998
Enough is enough
With world records in striking distance - 90 short of Kapil Dev's 431 - and still only a 32-year-old, announces his retirement. Says: "I am fed up with the allegations. I have never been charged, never had an opportunity to answer the allegations, never been shown any proof. When I met the members of the board in January, they made no charges against me and it hurts me to give up cricket, but my reputation is more important than glory."
September 21, 1998
Within a week, the PCB coaxes him back, and he confirms his availability for the series against Australia and Zimbabwe.
March 14, 1999
Two times three
In the Asian Test Championship
, a unique multi-nation Test series, takes hat-tricks in back-to-back matches against Sri Lanka, setting up a facile tournament win for Pakistan.
June 20, 1999
Lowest of lows
Pakistan, led by Akram, are the red-hot team going into the 1999 World Cup final
, but on the big day a different side turns up, managing only 132 runs. Akram later says, "Losing wasn't so bad, but when we came back to Pakistan, I got called by the National Accountability Bureau. They kept me in Islamabad and questioned me day in and day out… It's hilarious that people can still think that the World Cup final was fixed. That much pride - the money comes afterwards - you can't feel anywhere else. There is no comparison."
'Captain should have a spotless character'
The extensive investigation into match-fixing, led by Justice Qayyum, recommends that while the evidence is not conclusive, Akram be removed from the captaincy. "The captain of the national team should have a spotless character and be above suspicion. Wasim Akram seems to be too sullied to hold that office," says the report.
June 16, 2000
Captaincy gone, the bowler continues to scale heights
Playing under Moin Khan, with Russel Arnold's wicket in the SSC Test
, becomes the only bowler to have taken 400 wickets in both formats of the game. Only three bowlers - Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev and Courtney Walsh - are ahead of him in Tests.
November 29, 2000
A century of Tests
Becomes only the third Pakistani cricketer, after Javed Miandad and Saleem Malik, to play 100 Tests. Says before his 100th
, "The 16 years I've had have gone so fast and it's a great honour for me to represent Pakistan for the 100th time at Test level, but it's up to other people to decide and tell me if I've still got it or not."
One final fling
Is a sporadic presence in Tests since his 100th. The World Cup in South Africa is the one for the road. And a pretty good one for the road. Is Pakistan's most-successful bowler
, and his inspired spell
against Australia, during which he takes out Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Damien Martyn in the first 11 overs, is especially remarkable. Also, during their match against Netherlands, becomes the first man to get to 500 ODI wickets
May 18, 2003
Announces his retirement, this time for good, saying it is time to look at life after cricket. Has been dropped from the Pakistan side after the World Cup disappointment, and at the age of 37, retirement is a natural progression. Says: "There are no regrets. There have been ups and downs, but I would not have changed it for anything else."
July 15, 2003
Ill health follows
A known diabetic, falls ill during the county season, and has to end his contract with Hampshire.
April 20, 2007
Sharing the knowledge
Agrees to supervise a two-week camp for fast bowlers in Lahore. Says he will continue being a consultant to the pace-bowling academy, supervise more camps; and will also share his knowledge across the border in India.