Shoaib Akhtar is widely regarded as one of the fastest bowlers ever to play the game and he not only demolished the stumps but also hurt batters with his pace one of his victims was Sourav Ganguly, who was hit by Akhtar’s short ball to the ribs during an India-Pakistan ODI match in 1999 in Mohali.
With India slated to face Pakistan on August 28 in the Asia Cup 2022 in Dubai, the official broadcasters Star Sports are running a series named ‘Frenemies’ on which players from both sides are sharing memories of the India-Pakistan matches they have been involved in.
In a video shared by Star Sports, Shoaib Akhtar and Virender Sehwag were talking about memorable instances during the greatest rivalry between the two nations.
Akhtar then talked about the incident when he hit Ganguly in the ribs during the 1999 Mohali ODI, sending the batter down in pain and bringing the game to a brief halt. This match was also Virender Sehwag's ODI debut for India.
The Rawalpindi Express said that in the Pakistan team meeting before the match, he was asked specifically to target the head and ribs of the Indian batters and Ganguly was among the names in the list.
“We had decided to target Ganguly on his ribs. In our team meeting, it was discussed how I will try to hit batters. I had asked then, “Do I not dismiss them?’ but they said, ‘No. You have a lot of pace. You just try to hit the batters and we will take care of the wickets,” Akhtar revealed.
Ganguly was hit by a Shoaib Akhtar bullet in his ribs, which resulted in him lying on the ground in pain. He had to be helped off the field but came back to score 57 runs.
Here is the video: