By Patrick Murphy

23 ratings - 3.83* vote

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Book details

Hardcover, 0 pages
April 23rd 1998 by Piatkus Books
Original Title
074991808X (ISBN13: 9780749918088)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


"The Sultan of Swing" was arguably the most talented bowler ever produced by Pakistan.The world's leading batsmen were often quoted as saying that he was the hardest bowler of all to face.

The beginning is a Cinderella story.No one had ever heard of him,when somebody picked him to play a three day game against New Zealand.He took seven wickets,and Javed Miandad insisted that he wouldn't play himself,if Wasim Akram wasn't included in the Test side.

In only his second Test against New Zealand,he took ten wickets.But Pakistan still lost the game.Imran Khan was very impressed,and took him under his wing.He had become,almost overnight,a cricketing sensation.

He was a lusty,exciting hitter with the bat as well.In 1989,he memorably hit Viv Richards for a six in the last over to win the Nehru Cup in India.All leading international teams had participated in that competition.

He was a man for the big stage and was the star of the 1992 World Cup final win.Some lusty hitting was followed by a couple of unbelievably good swinging yorkers,as England were vanquished and Pakistan lifted the trophy for the only time.Akram was Man of the Match in the final.

In 1992,on the England tour,he and Waqar Younis,were responsible for a memorable series victory in which the art of reverse swing played a major part.

The 1996 World Cup was a different story.He sat out the quarter final against India,citing injury,as Pakistan lost.There was a lot of public anger and his house was stoned.There were allegations that he had deliberately not played.

He captained Pakistan,but soon the whole team revolted and refused to play under his captaincy.He had to go,but managed to become captain again after sometime.

In 1993,he and other players were arrested on a Caribbean beach for allegedly using drugs,while he was captain,in his first series.They were released after a few days and the tour wasn't cancelled.

In 1996,he was captain again,as Pakistan routed England in England.This time,there was no controversy or tabloid headlines.It was a comprehensive victory.As Akram proudly notes in the book,"Mission accomplished."

He managed to achieve four hat tricks in international cricket,two in Tests,and two in ODIs.This is an unmatched feat.The book was published in 1998,when he was still in mid-career.(The last five years,are therefore missing).

Akram faced a lot of allegations of corruption and match fixing from his teammates and the public.(A judicial commission comprising Justice Qayyum found him guilty,but let him off without any major penalty.His immense talent no doubt played a part in the continuation of his career,while lesser players including one who testified against him,were banned).

But in the book,Akram does not acknowledge any wrong doing on his part.

Apart from that,however,the book is very interesting and full of anecdotes.His co-writer,has done a fine job.

It isn't merely a dry catalogue of matches and statistics.He was a supremely talented cricketer,but unfortunately,a very controversial one as well.


I read it at a time when Wasim Akram was the most significant public figure in my life. I was 13 years old and blind to a lot of the controversies that surrounded him and the Pakistani cricket team during the time when I grew up. Some 12 year later, as I look back on the book, I'm certain much of what was presented as "facts" by Wasim is distorted to make him out to be "clean". This is why I am no longer a fan of athletes writing autobiographies while they are still in the midst of their athletic careers.

Anyhow, barring the controversies (of which there are many), this book reminisces the good times and bad times of Pakistani cricket, during the late 1980s and the 1990s, and Wasim's career. It is a must read for any Pakistani cricket fan that grew up in the 1990s.

Gourang Ambulkar

25% autobiography, 50% reminiscing about smartly chosen matches from past and remainder is about repaying an apparent debt to Lancashire. I have a feeling that Wasim was probably inadequately advised about writing an autobiography. Perhaps another major reason for the inadequacy ( as another reviewer has pointed out) is that for a person in thirties with lot much to come in life, it is way too premature to pen down an autobiography. I had resolved not to read autobiographies written by sportspeople in middle of their careers, but the sheer love of Waz made me pick up this book. Reading this book in 2019, 20 years after it has been written and knowing what Wasim has done in those 20 years, a lot is missing from this book. So let my review be a forewarning to those who , like me , are contemplating to read this , for the sheer love of the Sultan of Swing!!


Interesting for all cricket fans, particularly those who followed the sport in the 90s. Having said that, Wasim focuses a little too much on personal anecdotes and not enough on cricket.