Joy of IPL triumph equals WC win: Akram

IPL victory pleases KKR bowling mentor as much as Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup win

Chennai 28 May 2012
Nothing can bring out emotions the way sport does. It brings out the child in a mature, wise man and causes even the toughest of eyes to shed tears. And once you attach yourself to a sport, it doesn’t matter at which level you’re competing, every single game is played to be won. The grand finale of IPL 2012 presented a classic example of the passion that sport accompanies.

After the Kolkata Knight Riders romped through to their first IPL title triumph, caught up with their bowling mentor, Wasim Akram. The Sultan of Swing, Akram is widely regarded as the most complete fast bowler of his time. With over 900 international wickets and a World Cup triumph under his belt, there are not many achievements that the legend from Pakistan has missed out on in his cricketing career. Yet, after his KKR “boys” emerged victorious in a nail-biting final, Akram was a bundle of joy.

Ecstatic with the win, Akram likened being a part of the new IPL champions to winning the World Cup for Pakistan in 1992. Here are the snippets from his interview:

How does it feel to end the five-year-long wait?

It was incredible. Credit goes to the captain and his team on the way they have fought throughout the tournament. My voice is gone and I am feeling the same when I did after winning the World Cup for Pakistan. It was worth the wait.

What’s the main difference between KKR of the past and the current team?

The leadership, the contribution from senior and the foreign players was the key. We’re a family, not a team. We supported each other through thick and thin, and that helped.

What do you have to say about your bunch of boys – the bowlers?

My bowlers are the best in the world and we can beat any team with this bowling attack. The variety and the wicket-taking ability are incredible. It’s good to be a part of this team.

A word on Sunil Narine.

He has been a revelation. Nobody could read him in this tournament and I don’t think anybody will do it in the next two years. It’s good for KKR.

Is this victory sweeter after all that the team has gone through?

It’s very sweet. It’s incredible especially for SRK [Shah Rukh Khan], Juhi [Chawla] and Jay [Mehta]; they’ve been waiting for it since a long time. Look at SRK, he is like a little kid, and so am I!
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