Cape Town: Pakistani veteran Wasim Akram goes into Saturday's World Cup clash against England needing just two wickets to achieve the unprecedented milestone of 500 One-day wickets. And the 36-year-old hoped the batsman who gave him that landmark was former Lancashire colleague Andrew Flintoff. "Flintoff is a friend and a fellow Lancastrian," Wasim told SAPA news agency.
"It would be nice to get him for my 500th." Playing his fifth World Cup, Wasim has bagged 498 wickets in 352 One-dayers at an average of 23.50. He has taken four wickets or more on 17 occasions. "It is something special to achieve 500, but at the end of the day it matters more that the team achieve some crucial wins in the World Cup," Wasim said. "This is an important match and we need to get the momentum going." Asked which one of his wickets so far was most special, Wasim said it was always a personal victory to remove the likes of Viv Richards, Martin Crowe and Javed Miandad. "These were the geniuses of One-day cricket, and they knew how to play reverse swing.
I consider Viv the best One-day batsman of all time," he said. Cricket's bible Wisden recently honoured Wasim by naming him the best bowler in Limited Overs cricket. The former Pakistan captain acknowledged that the 1992 World Cup final against England was one of the most memorable matches in which he claimed 3-49 and scored 33 off 19 deliveries to secure his team's win.
Wasim said on Thursday that one of the key factors in a World Cup campaign is to peak at the right moment, just as Pakistan had done in 1992. Wasim went on to say that winning the World Cup was far more important that his personal achievements. "It is crucial that we accelerate at the right moment," he said. Copyright AFP 2001