The Telegraph
Tuesday , December 25 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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It was a privilege to play against Sachin: Akram

Karachi: Wasim Akram, on Monday, paid glowing tribute to Sachin Tendulkar on his retirement from one-day Internationals, terming the Indian cricketer as “the greatest batsman of modern era”.

Akram said that he was fortunate to have played in an era that featured The Master. “I have no doubt in my mind that he was the greatest batsman of the modern era and I don’t see another like him coming soon,” Akram said. “It was a privilege to play against him,” he added.

Akram pointed out that for a batsman to play at the highest level and score 100 international centuries was a phenomenal achievement. “I credit him a lot for maintaining the fitness and level of endurance and concentration to play at this level for so long. It is a hard job,” he said.

Akram said he had found Sachin to be a technically very correct player. “He was so passionate about his batting and always hungry for runs. I don’t see his records being eclipsed very soon.”

Inzamamul Haq said that whenever he played against India he knew that the key wicket was always Sachin’s.

“India depended so much on him and what surprises me is that Sachin withstood all this pressure all these years to set so many records which will be difficult to break in years to come,” he said.

“He was a gentleman and soft spoken and for a sportsman, who is idolised by millions, his conduct was always impeccable. He is truly a role model for young cricketers.”

Moin Khan and Rashid Latif also praised Tendulkar and said he had taken the right decision by retiring from ODIs. “He went out on a high. The problem is that he had set such high standards that people always expected big scores from him and he handled this pressure very well,” Latif said.

Saqlain Mushtaq said bowling to the Indian has always been an “absolute pleasure”. “He’s been at the top of the game for 23 years which is simply amazing.”

“I feel honoured to have played cricket in an era when Tendulkar played. It’s been an honour to have bowled to Sachin. I’ve dismissed him, been hit for four, hit for six by Sachin, beaten him with deliveries.”