As Sachin Tendulkar presented his autobiogrpahy "Playing it my Way’ to his mother on Wednesday, there is another pat coming from none other than Wasim Akram, his opponent in cricket from Pakistan long ago. But it was a pleasant one for the cricket legend.
A World Cup triumph completes the career of a professional cricketer, said former Pakistan fast bowler Akram. "A World Cup in any sport is the absolute pinnacle. It’s the event which every sportsman dreams of playing in, and, for me, the ICC Cricket World Cup was always special," he wrote in his column that appeared on ICC website.
The whole world was focused on the event that comes once in four years and anything special at this event would make the player an instant success, he said.
"As a teenager, I remember playing one of these tournaments in the famous Mazang area to the backdrop of radio commentary of the 1983 World Cup. My first memories are of Kapil Dev hitting an astronomical 175 against Zimbabwe. That inspired me a lot and the desire in me to play in an ICC Cricket World Cup multiplied," he wrote.
Four years later, he was playing in World Cup matches in 1992, he won the ICC Cricket World Cup, despite written off initially. "Personally, I think a World Cup triumph completes the career of a professional cricketer. And the testament to this are the reactions of Sachin Tendulkar when he lifted the ICC Cricket World Cup in his sixth attempt in Mumbai in 2011. These were an expression of total satisfaction from a modest and humble player who wanted to win the World Cup so desperately," he wrote.
Listing those who failed to win the World cup despite being on top of the play for long such as Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and Jacques Kallis, Akram says "they will tell you what is missing from their distinguished careers."
Recollecting some memorable events, he wrote on Mike Gatting and how he would regret playing a reserve sweep shot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1987 final, and the drop catch of Steve Waugh in Headingley in 1999, which still haunts Herschelle Gibbs. "Similarly, Waqar Younis will be cursing his early career fitness issues which forced him to return home just before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992," he wrote.
Looking forward to watching the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, he said, "I am anxiously waiting for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to start, and, throughout the event, I will be itching to go out and bowl myself. It will be tough for me not to go into flashback mode and remember my magical deliveries at the MCG, which I consider as some of my very best."