Wasim Akram was 31 and at the peak of his career when he was diagonised with diabetes    AFP (File Photo)
Wasim Akram was 31 and at the peak of his career when he was diagonised with diabetes AFP (File Photo)

It was in the West Indies tour of Pakistan 1997-98 that Wasim Akram was diagnosed with diabetes type-1. Loss of weight, excessive consumption of water and a thirsty feeling overall made his father to take him to a doctor. It was later confirmed that his body failed to produce enough insulin. He was 31 and at the peak of his career. Wasim Akram: I don t think ICC has power to pursue BCCI for India-Pakistan ties

On the occasion of World Diabetic day, Akram spoke about how he overcame the disease. “I had big dreams [while playing cricket] and this disease was coming fast to me but I was determined to run faster to overcome it,” he said in an interview for daily observer.

“It is basically the lifestyle that is important to deal with this in the disease. There are three important things the diabetic patients should do…first, you must observe the strict diet and monitor your daily intakes” he added. Multan Sultans fail to unite Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis

After being diagnosed with diabetes, he started calculating the amount of carbohydrate he consumed in every meal to keep a track of insulin needed to maintain blood sugar level.

“Secondly, the patients should do regular exercises and jogging.”. Along with Aerobics, Akram started strength exercises such as weight lifting and push-ups. It seems that his father’s advice of consulting a doctor was a good one as he added, “And the third is to consult doctor regularly and follow his advice”. Wasim Akram gets emotional on return of international cricket to Pakistan

Akram, when diagnosed with Diabetes, was depressed at the start but was determined to not let it affect his career. “It is not the disease but you have to change your life-style. Everybody is an engine and you must take care of your body”. He concluded the interview by saying, “It was very scary when I was diagnosed, but I immediately realized that it is not the end of the world. You have to accept it that if it’s there you can’t avoid it.”

And rightfully so, he ended up as the highest wicket-taker in the series despite being diagnosed. In the three-Test series he took 17 wickets with an impressive economy of 2.74.

Wasim Akram retired from International cricket in 2003 with 414 Test wickets and 502 ODI wickets. He was also the first bowler to reach the 500-wicket mark in ODIs.