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Sledging Richards backfired on me, Akram reveals

Can you guess what happened when Wasim Akram, the "Sultan of Swing" sledged "King" Viv Richards during a Test match?

  • By K.R.Nayar, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 22:58 January 20, 2009
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Can you guess what happened when Wasim Akram, the "Sultan of Swing" sledged "King" Viv Richards during a Test match?

Akram narrated the incident during the recent Shyam Bhatia awards for UAE's outstanding performers in domestic cricket.

"I was only nineteen when I played in the 1988 Barbados Test match during the tour of West Indies. It was in this Test match that I realised I've got the pace to disturb the batsmen," he said.

"When only 45 minutes were left to go for close of play, Richards came out to bat. My skipper Imran Khan gave me the ball and asked me to have a go.

"I bowled a bouncer at Richards and his cap fell while avoiding it. I went up to him and abused him. I was very skinny at that time and he looked at me and said: 'I will see [you] out man.'"

Akram immediately went to Imran Khan and related the incident.

"Imran told me to go ahead and scare &. him. So I bowled another bouncer and his cap fell again and so I went up to him and with a lot of action, provoked him.

"Richards looked at me and spat to the side with contempt. That was a time when there were no match referees nor close up television," he said.

Khan asked Akram to bowl the last over of the day.

"I bowled a bouncer again and then returned to the dressing room. While removing my shoes, the room attendant said that someone is waiting for me outside the dressing room.

"When I went out, I saw Richards in only his pad and no shirt and with a bat in hand. I ran to Imran and told him about it, but he quietly said: 'it is better you handle him.' I was shocked and so I went and told Richards very politely that I am sorry for what happened & and [that] it won't happen again.

"Richards looked at me and said: "If it happens next time, I will kill you.

"It never happened again," said Akram.