Shoaib Akhtar      

Full name Shoaib Akhtar

Born August 13, 1975, Rawalpindi, Punjab

Current age 42 years 285 days

Major teams Pakistan, Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan, Asia XI, Chittagong Division, Durham, ICC World XI, Islamabad Leopards, Khan Research Labs, Kolkata Knight Riders, Pakistan International Airlines, Rawalpindi, Somerset, Surrey, Worcestershire

Playing role Bowler

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm fast

Shoaib Akhtar
    A rocky start
    Dropped from the Pakistan squad for the Sahara Cup against India on grounds of indiscipline and poor attitude. His international debut is thus delayed by over a year.
    Test debut
    Tours England with Pakistan A and makes an impact on and off the field; is cited for indiscipline by the Pakistan manager in the end of tour report. Finally makes his international debut in November in the second Test against West Indies in Rawalpindi. Takes two wickets.
    February 26-March 2, 1998
    First five-for
    His first major impact; 5 for 43 in Durban, Pakistan's first Test win in South Africa.
    Rawalpindi Express in full steam
    The breakthrough year starts with those two balls at the Asian Test Championship in Kolkata and continues through the World Cup, where he ends not only as one of the leading wicket-takers, but also its leading star. His best was the fiery spell in the semi-final against New Zealand at Old Trafford. Soon after, he signs a contract to play for Nottinghamshire. He ends the year by being called for the first time in his career in Australia by umpires Peter Willey and Darrell Hair and John Reid, the match referee; a pattern for highs followed inevitably and immediately by lows is set.
    Bowling action is cleared early in the year but a rib injury forces him to miss the start of the county season. A side strain then forces him out for the rest of the season and then a shoulder injury rules him out of England's visit to Pakistan in the winter. Knee and ankle injuries are also added to the catalogue before the year is out.
    Chucking is injurious to health
    Returns in March for his first international outing in ten months, against New Zealand in Auckland. Five wickets suggests he is back but breaks down with a hamstring injury nine balls into the next game. .. and is called again by umpires Steve Dunne and Doug Cowie. A report from the University of Western Australia concludes his action is the result of "unique physical characteristics." Pakistani officials say the report `clears him'. Misses much of England summer tour due to injury and poor health and is called again in November in Sharjah. Again, he is 'cleared' by the University in December.
    January-May 2002
    Hurling bricks and breathtaking yorkers
    Hit by a brick from the Dhaka crowd in January, forcing him to miss the end of the tour. Recovers to destroy New Zealand twice at home, in the process bowling the first-ever 100 mph delivery. Takes 6 for 16 in an ODI in Karachi and follows it up with 6 for 11 in the Test at the same venue.
    October 3-7, 2002
    Aussies beware
    Blitzes Australia with a match-turning spell in Colombo, which all but won them the match.
    November 2002
    Ball-tampering allegations
    Banned for an ODI after throwing a bottle at the crowds in Zimbabwe. More ball-tampering allegations emerge in the first Test. A knee injury rules him out of the Test series against South Africa.
    Dropped, banned, lawsuit, banned again, matchwinner, injured
    Axed from the team after a poor World Cup and told by PCB chief Tauqir Zia to clean up his act or be excluded from the team forever. Recalled in May for a triangular in Sri Lanka and promptly becomes the second player ever to be banned for ball-tampering. Appointed vice-captain for Test against South Africa and is served up a lawsuit by a Pakistani citizen for attending a fashion show on a night of religious significance. Banned for one Test and two ODIs for abusing Paul Adams in the first Test. Misses Test in New Zealand with calf and groin injuries but is photographed one day before enjoying a jet-ski ride, much to his management's chagrin. Typically, returns for second Test, helps Pakistan win with a stupendous seven-wicket burst (11 in the match) and gets injured again in the ODI series.
    April 2004
    Feigning injury?
    A disappointing series against India ends with a back injury in the final Test. Unable to bowl for the rest of the match, he comes out to bat later, freely smacking boundaries in a 14-ball 28. Inzamam publicly questions the authenticity of the injury. Amid disquiet over his commitment and attitude, Shoaib is called before a medical inquiry which eventually finds his injury to be a genuine one.
    December 2004
    More mixed returns
    Returns to the squad where on the tour to Australia at the year's end his true Jekyll and Hyde nature comes out. He fights a lone battle against Australian batsmen in the first two Tests, but in the process is disciplined by match referees (for sending Matthew Hayden on his way) and injures his shoulder at Perth. By the time of the last Test in Sydney, looks physically spent and rumours of disciplinary breaches and problems with the team management emerge.
    Injuries, fights, hero again
    Starts the year with a hamstring injury and misses most of the VB Series. Hamstring keeps him out of the India tour and fitness problems preclude his inclusion for the tour to the Caribbean. On the bright side, he is offered a Bollywood role. Relationship with both Inzamam and Bob Woolmer erodes steadily and his stock is at its lowest ebb when he is verbally maligned by Worcestershire chairman John Elliott for being a disruptive influence. Comes back for the series against England after proving his fitness in a training camp, finishes with 17 wickets, and silences any number of critics with a rehabilitated performance. Ankle injury surfaces in the last Test at Lahore.
    January-August 2006
    Doubts over action, and injuries again
    Questions are raised about his action again, this time, by Greg Chappell after the Faisalabad Test against India. Ankle injury becomes a stress fracture and rules him out of the ODI series. All the while rumours fly about ICC concern over his action although no official action is taken or statement made. Injury forces him to miss the Sri Lanka tour and doctors discover soon after a degenerative knee condition which threatens to end his career. Is due to undergo surgery, the results of which will determine whether or not he can continue playing but speculation about whether it is his action or his injury which have forced him out intensifies. Takes his 200th ODI wicket in Cardiff.
    November 2006
    The Nandrolone saga
    Banned for two years after testing positive for the banned substance Nandrolone, Shoaib is sent back to Pakistan and misses the Champions Trophy. The verdict, however, is overturned by a three-man tribunal a month later.
    January-March 2007
    The big Spat
    Named in a 30-man squad for the World Cup, as the selectors have a change of heart. But a televised spat with Bob Woolmer results in Shoaib being fined by the board. Later, after much deliberation, Shoaib is declared unfit to take part in the World Cup due to injury at the very last minute. Speculation has it that his exclusion was from fear of being dope-tested by the ICC, and that traces of Nandrolone were still present in his body.
    July-August 2007
    More censure from the board
    A fit-again Shoaib is named in the Asia XI squad to take on an Africa XI but is withdrawn by the Pakistan board after declaring himself unavailable for Pakistan's tour of Abu Dhabi. Shoaib is included in the squad for Scotland and later named in the team for the inaugural ICC World Twenty20. He leaves a training camp in Karachi without permission and is fined at a disciplinary hearing. On appeal, a second hearing suspends the fine and charges and puts Shoaib on a six-week probationary period.
    September 2007
    Ban for naughty-boy Shoaib
    A dressing-room spat with Mohammad Asif in South Africa results in Shoaib being sent back home prior to the World Twenty20. Shoaib is consequently handed a 13-match ban and a fine of approximately US$57,000 for a number of breaches of discipline. He is also placed on a two-year probationary period during which any disciplinary breaches could result in a life ban.
    January 2008
    Contract crisis
    The board's announcement of new central contracts in January sees Shoaib demoted from the top category to a retainership. He is handed a five-year ban, preventing him from playing for and in Pakistan, after accusing the board of double standards over the contracts. He pushes for a suspension of the ban and earns a reprieve when the Appellate Tribunal decides to suspend his five-year ban for one month. It made him eligible to represent Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
    January 2009
    Back on top
    Selected in the top category of the central contract by a new administration and team management despite missing most of Pakistan's commitments and playing only three Twenty20 games in a four-nation tournament in Canada.
    May 2009
    Wart did you say?
    Further embarrassment for Shoaib as he's withdrawn from the World Twenty20 squad after being diagnosed with genital viral warts. He later says he could have sued the PCB for going public over his skin condition. The board responds by serving a show-cause notice for violating his contract.
    October 2009
    Another injury, another surgery
    Shoaib is ruled out of selection for the ODI series against New Zealand in November as he will be heading to England for knee surgery. His recovery is expected to take six weeks, which means he will also miss the start of Pakistan's first-class competition.
    February 2010
    Snubbed for the World Twenty20
    Except for the omission of Shoaib, there are no major surprises in Pakistan's preliminary 30-man squad for the defence of their World Twenty20 title in the Caribbean. Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, said Shoaib had been overlooked because he had hardly played any cricket in the past ten months.
    March 2010
    A few millions lighter
    Shoaib says he will contest the Pakistan board's decision to deduct Rs 7 million ($82,353) from his annual earnings as punishment for a contested misdemeanor under the previous PCB regime.
    June 2010
    Coming back ... again
    Shoaib makes a comeback that would rightly be considered remarkable anywhere else but in Pakistan, as the PCB announced a 15-man squad for the Asia Cup, due to begin in Sri Lanka from June 15. Shoaib, nearing 35, last played for Pakistan over a year ago and had been off the selection radar since.
    March 2011
    Still wanted
    Shoaib is one of the biggest beneficiaries in the new list of central contracts given to 19 players by the Pakistan board. He was not given a contract last year but is now among the seven men in the top category of contracts given out for the six-month period starting January 2011.
    March 2011
    An end of a colourful career
    Shoaib announces that he will retire from the international game at the end of Pakistan's World Cup, bringing to an end one of cricket's most compelling and mercurial careers. He cites fitness as one of the reasons for his decision.