Wasim Akram with his wife Shaniera Thompson during a visit to Sharjah International Book Fair. Image Credit: K.R. Nayar/Gulf News

Dubai: Wasim Akram, Pakistan’s greatest pacer of all times, has the confidence that his former skipper Imran Khan, who guided his country to 1992 World Cup triumph, will come out successful in the battle against coronavirus while discharging his duties as the Prime Minister of the country.

Akram, who witnessed how Khan had steered the team against all odds by instilling confidence in everyone nearly 30 years ago, believes that his Prime Minister’s ability to do the impossible will once again come into play.

Speaking to Gulf News from Pakistan, Akram said: “My skipper Imran bhai (brother) is on the money. He knows everything that is going around. He is on television every week - addressing the whole nation so that everyone knows what is happening.”

Akram, who as an youngster, experienced how Khan transformed the Pakistan team, very much the underdogs in the ‘92 World Cup, into a winning unit through his inspirational leadership and his ability to communicate, said: “Communication is very important at this time. We all need to be on the same page with him in the battle against this virus, and we are all with him now.”

Flashback: Imran Khan, then the Pakistan skipper, does the victory lap at Melbourne after lifting the 1992 ICC World Cup. A young Wasim Akram can be seen just next to him. Image Credit: AP

It was Khan who mentored Akram to become the most respected bowler in the history of the game and earn the sobriquet as ‘Sultan of Swing’. Akram urges everyone to adhere to the guidelines to be safe even if the lockdown has been eased. “I believe that is the best thing for us to do: be it in Dubai, Pakistan, India, or elsewhere in the world is to abide by what your government says and stay indoors. Get out only when you have to really go out.”

Akram believes that since no one has experienced such a crisis before, it is important to learn and adapt. “I am a very positive person. I will turn 54 in June and have never experienced anything even close to this in my lifetime. So no wonder that no one knows how to behave or what do to during his period. Hence it is important for everyone to appreciate the fact that we need to remain safe.”

Wasim Akram

Patience is the key during this time. I know people have to work, businesses have to run but let us be patient with ourselves. Maybe a vaccine against this virus may emerge soon, but it may take time

Akram wants everyone not to treat this period like a holiday too. “It’s not a holiday and I have been saying this all along since it all began. This virus is such that you cannot meet up in the evenings and cannot even go for walks in groups of 10 or 15 people. Even you should not walk around with even four and five of your friends. The idea is to ensure that we do not spread this virus and you can stop it only by staying at home.“

Akram, a master in the art of swing bowling, displayed immense patience to work hard on his skills and wants everyone to be patient. “Patience is the key during this time. I know people have to work, businesses have to run but let us be patient with ourselves. Maybe a vaccine against this virus may emerge soon, but it may take time. The only way out now is to be patient.”

The legend asks everyone to try and follow the way he has tackled this phase. “This is not the time to sleep all day. I follow the same routine I have been following before. I am up by 6.30 am and go for a run around the block before anyone comes out to follow social distancing. Then I am with my children and by evening, I go for a walk with my wife for 45 minutes. During the day, I do whatever I need to do....all through the phone. Everyone can find their own ways and set a routine. These are tough days, but this is the only way we as a human race can tackle this pandemic.”