Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has mentioned that the Indian tail-enders used to ask him to dismiss them rather than hurt them. He revealed that Muttiah Muralitharan also used to request him to not bowl quick deliveries at him.
Shoaib Akhtar spoke at length about his cricketing career, including the terror he had created in the minds of the opposition batsmen, during an interaction with Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show Cric Cast.
The Rawalpindi Express was asked which batsman's injury had made him feel that he had perhaps taken it a step too far. Shoaib Akhtar mentioned that there were many such instances in county cricket while he was playing for Worcestershire.
"In county cricket while I was playing for Worcester, a lot of players got him by my ball when I thought Oh God I have done something wrong. But I don't know why I was so mean."
Shoaib Akhtar recalled an incident where he had hit Matthew Maynard on his lower jaw, causing the batsman to fall flat on his stumps and leading to the former believing that the injury might prove to be fatal.
"There was one occasion when Matthew Maynard, a batsman playing for Glamorgan, I told him that let's go out as it was getting darker since it was not comfortable to face my pace. But he told that he will face me."
"So, I went round the wicket and bowled him a quick bouncer and the situation was little dull, that hit him on the jaw and he fell on the wickets. I felt that he might die, he was flattened on the ground, he was in a lot of pain. He fell on the wicket and was out as well."
Shoaib Akhtar added that he always used to regret hitting any batsman.
"I felt bad but every time I used to hit people, I used to feel that this shouldn't have happened."
The 45-year-old also talked about an occasion when he had hit Gary Kirsten below his eye after having warned the South African batsman not to attempt a hook shot off his bowling.
"I had warned Gary Kirsten as well, asking him not to hook me. I told him not to do it as a 36-year-old to the fastest bowler. He also got hit very hard. Whenever he meets me, he shows the mark under his eyes as a souvenir from my side."
Shoaib Akhtar on the players who used to request him not to bowl fast
Shoaib Akhtar was further asked if any batsmen used to ask him to bowl at a gentle place and that they would get out on their own. The speedster responded that there were a lot of such batsmen while naming Muttiah Muralitharan and the Indian tail-enders.
"There were lot of batsmen like that. Muralitharan was there, lot of players from India, all tail-enders. They used to ask me to get them out but not hit them as it would hit them hard. They used to say that they have wife and kids and that their parents wouldn't like it."
Shoaib Akhtar added that the Sri Lankan off-spinner used to tell him to bowl slowly and that he would step away from the stumps to give away his wicket.
"Muralitharan used to tell me to bowl slowly and he would move away from the stumps. He used to get out very easily."
"Yousuf used to ask me to hit him, to break his fingers as he couldn't play him. I had bowled a couple of bouncers to Murali and he told me not to do it else he will die. He told that he was very fragile. So I used to feel shy but Yousuf wanted me to hit him."
Shoaib Akhtar was one of the most terrifying bowlers of his time and is believed to have got the most batsmen retired hurt off his bowling.