Akram: England should apologise
Wasim Akram says England should apologise for accusing his team of cheating in 1992 when they used reverse swing. Akram and Waqar Younis used it to devastating effect in that series, and England employed the same art to similar effect all summer against Australia; Simon Jones and Andrew Flintoff were particularly adept at using it.
"England owe us an apology in a big way," Akram told AFP. "When we did the reverse swing against England in 1992, they were [the] great moaners and groaners of the world, [and] they termed it as cheating. And now when they achieved an Ashes win through reverse swing, it's an art," Akram said.
Akram, Pakistan's best left-arm seamer, and his pace partner Waqar Younis shattered England with a devastating display of reverse-swing bowling during Pakistan's tour of England in 1992, helping Pakistan to a 2-1 win.
England's tabloid press accused the pair, who took 41 wickets between them, of cheating and ball tampering. But England used the same technique to dismantle the much-touted Australian batting, and dethrone Australia as Ashes champions after a hard-fought 2-1 series which ended Monday.
"Now English bowlers know it, it's the art of reverse swing. Still, I am happy that they have finally realised the importance of reverse swing," Akram said yesterday.
Akram, who has taken 414 Test and a world record of 502 one-day wickets in his career, said Pakistani bowlers should be given credit for the reverse swing.
"This art has spread only because of Pakistani bowlers," he said. "Imran Khan taught me how to reverse swing the ball, I told Younis and we mastered it."
He said English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff learnt a lot from him while they both played county cricket for Lancashire in the late 1990s.
"He learnt how to hide the shine and he did that during the Ashes. Had I not told him, he would have learnt it anyway, but I am glad that he has learnt well. They have mastered the art of reverse swing and [the] Australians had no clue as to how to cope with the reverse swing," Akram said.