Pakistan fast bowling legend Wasim Akram said that former Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s illustrious career would not have been complete without the 2011 World Cup victory, which eventually made him the greatest cricketer.
“Personally, I think a World Cup triumph completes the career of a professional cricketer. And the testament to this are the reactions of Tendulkar when he lifted the World Cup in his sixth attempt in Mumbai in 2011,” Akram wrote in a column on the eve of ‘100 days to go to the ICC World Cup 2015’ celebrations.
“These were an expression of total satisfaction from a modest and humble player who wanted to win the World Cup so desperately. On 2 April 2011, Tendulkar engraved his name in gold as the greatest, most accomplished and complete cricketer.”
The former left-arm swing bowler won the 1992 World Cup, skippered Pakistan to the 1999 edition final, and was a member of the sides that reached the semi-final in 1987 and quarter-final in 1996.
Akram, whose last World Cup appearance was a forgettable one as Pakistan failed to reach the Super Six stage in 2003, said that modern day greats like Brian Lara, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid missed the pinnacle of success in world cricket by never being part of a team which won the quadrennial event.
“There are some of the modern day icons who have never tasted World Cup success. Ask Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Jacques Kallis, and they will tell you what is missing from their distinguished careers,” Akram, who took 916 international wickets, said.
“Likewise, talk to Mike Gatting and he will share his regret of playing a reserve sweeping shot in the 1987 World Cup final, and I am sure the drop catch of Steve Waugh in Headingley in 1999 still haunts Herschelle Gibbs. Similarly, Waqar Younis will be cursing his early career fitness issues which forced him to return home just before the start of the 1992 World Cup,” concluded Akram, who played in four World Cups against Tendulkar.