Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has revealed that he wanted to retire from international cricket back in 2003 because of exhaustion.
The Rawalpindi-born made his international debut in 1997 during a Test match against West Indies.
He went on to represent Pakistan in 224 fixtures and bagged 444 wickets before retiring from international cricket in 2011.
The 45-year-old also holds the record for bowling the fastest delivery clocked at 161.3 kph during the 2003 Cricket World Cup fixture against England at Cape Town.
The former pacer, in an interview with experienced sports journalist Mirza Iqbal Baig on his YouTube channel, revealed that he wanted to bid farewell to the game in 2003.
“I had decided that my career was done by then,” the Rawalpindi Express said. “I wanted to play a couple of county seasons in order to make some money, buy a house in England and get settled there. However, it didn’t happen as India toured Pakistan the next year.”
He said that he took painkillers to make himself available for the fixtures between the arch-rivals. “I was injected on my knees, shoulders and my back. I have had surgeries on fibulas, tibias, collar bones and rotator cuffs.”
Akhtar said that the process of leaving the hotel room for the ground used to be an excruciating experience. “I used to feel as if someone had put burning rods under my knees and I was walking on it continuously. I decided that I had enough of this experience.”