Wasim Akram is the only player to take two hat-tricks in both Tests and ODIs © Getty Images
Wasim Akram is the only player to take two hat-tricks in both Tests and ODIs © Getty Images

Born June 3, 1966, legendary Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram turns 50 today. Known as the ‘Sultan of Swing’, Akram is considered as one of the best pacers the world has ever seen. His distinct quality of swinging the ball two different ways in just a single delivery makes him stand out among the other skillful pacers of all time. The player represented his country in as many as 104 Test matches and bagged 414 wickets with an economy of 2.59 while in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), he has 502 wickets after his name from 356 matches, with an economy of 3.89. READ: Wasim Akram bowls Pakistan to victory with a magical hat-trick against West Indies at Sharjah

Akram was the first player to take 500 wickets in ODIs as he reached the landmark during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, taking wickets in the tournament. He was one of the key players behind Pakistan’s only World Cup win in the year 1992 as he emerged as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 18 wickets, leaving behind the likes of Ian Botham, Allan Donald and Manoj Prabhakar. Akram is one of the only three players to take two hat-tricks in ODIs and is one of the four cricketers in the world to have more than one Test hat-tricks. During his prime in 1999, Akram bagged the two Test hat-tricks within a span of nine days. The records make him the only player in the world to take two hat-tricks in both Tests and ODIs, which is still not achieved by any other bowler so far.

After his retirement, Akram was seen as one of the most successful sports commentators. He is currently the bowling coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and is also the director of Pakistan Premier League (PSL) team Islamabad United. Here’s wishing the Sultan of Swing a very happy birthday.