Pakistan are hosting England for a Test tour after over 17 years, with the English team last touring the country in 2005 under the captaincy of Michael Vaughan. The series, that consists of three Tests, begins December 1 with the first match in Rawalpindi. In the 2005 series, the hosts had defeated England 2-0 in the three-match series and Pakistan‘s former quick Shoaib Akhtar enjoyed a stellar outing, taking 17 wickets across the three games.

Ahead of the start of the series, Akhtar recollected his memories from the 2005 series against England and also recalled his heated duel with former English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff. After the ICC Super Series in 2005 that took place shortly before the tour, Flintoff said that Akhtar “looked like Tarzan but bowled like Jane.”

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Recalling the statement, Akhtar, in a conversation with The Guardian, said, “I was on the edge of my sofa wondering whether I was going to be selected for the series or not. Once I was, then my main motivation was Freddie Flintoff.”

During the Test series, Akhtar dismissed Flintoff thrice and the bowler revealed what he told the English all-rounder during the duel.

“I got Freddie on my radar and I just started bowling bouncers. He was uncomfortable, I got him out and said to him: ‘How do I look Mr Flintoff, like Tarzan or Jane?’” said Akhtar.

“He said: ‘Forgive me Shoaib. You are two different people in a span of three weeks. You were unfit and down in the mouth and now you are totally different. What happened?’ I said: ‘A lot of painkillers and even more heart.’” Akhtar further recalled.

The former Pakistan speedster represented the side in 46 Tests, taking 178 wickets. In ODIs, Akhtar picked 247 wickets in 163 ODIs and to this date, holds the record for the fastest bowler in cricket history. He recorded a delivery at 161kph against New Zealand in 2002, that remains the fastest ball recorded in international cricket.

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