Mohammad Sami, former Pakistan paceman, has alleged that he bowled 100mph+ deliveries twice in his international career but they weren't recognized because he is "from Karachi".
Historically, Karachi and Lahore have shared rivalry in every sphere and when it’s a cricket contest, the enmity skyrockets. The two cities have shared rivalry in domestic cricket since the 1950s, and it’s not the first time a player has felt being discriminated for being from the port city of Karachi.
Mohammad Sami has claimed that he crossed the 100-mph mark twice in his career but wasn't fortunate enough to register his name in the record books because of his city of origin – Karachi.
“I bowled 100 mph twice in international cricket, but they didn’t recognise it because I’m Karachite, I took 3 wickets in 4 overs but they changed my spell because I’m Karachite,” Sami said in a video uploaded by journalist Shoaib Jatt on Twitter.
In the video shared by the journalist, Mohammad Sami goes on to express his disappointment over the way he was treated and implied that he wasn’t allowed to prosper, either because he was from Karachi or they "didn’t like his face". He also went on to say that attempts were made to tarnish his image and halt his career.
Last year, Shoaib Akhtar had lashed out at the Pakistan team management during the England tour after former captain Sarfraz Ahmed was seen carrying shoes for a young Shadab Khan. He added more fuel to the Lahore-Karachi debate when he told Boss News:
“I didn’t like the visual. If you want to make an example out of a boy from Karachi, then it is wrong. You can’t do this to a player who has led Pakistan for four years and has won Champions Trophy for the country. You made him carry shoes. If he has done it himself, then stop him. Wasim Akram never brought shoes for me.”
Officially, it’s Sami's former teammate Shoaib Akhtar who holds the record for clocking the fastest recorded delivery in international cricket at 161.3 kph (100.2 mph). Shoaib bowled the delivery during Pakistan’s group match against England in the 2003 World Cup.
During India’s tour of Pakistan in 2004, Mohammad Sami had dished out a delivery at 162.3 kph against India that was driven through the cover for a four by the then Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.
He also dished out a ball at 164 kph to Rahul Dravid in that series.
Both these deliveries were ruled out due to “faulty speed measurements on the speed meter”. Cricket’s governing body ICC has maintained that the equipment used to measure bowling speed varied.
Mohammad Sami couldn't achieve potential as a Test cricketer
Mohammad Sami is also the first cricketer to claim hat-tricks in all three formats of the game. Unlike Tests and ODIs, his two T20 hat-tricks didn't come in international matches.
The 39-year-old has impressive numbers in white-ball cricket for Pakistan. He claimed 121 ODI wickets and 21 T20I wickets at 29.47 and 18.42 respectively. Despite being a force in First-Class cricket, he couldn’t replicate his success in Tests, claiming 85 wickets from 36 Tests at an average of 52.74.Published 09 Jan 2021, 14:19 IST