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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - ‘Cricket in Saudi Arabia will go places in years to come,’ says Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar
RIYADH: Pakistan pace bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar has said he has high hopes for cricket in Saudi Arabia.
Akhtar, known as the “Rawalpindi Express” during his playing days and who holds the record for the fastest delivery in the history of international cricket at 161.3 kph, was in the Kingdom last week for a cricket coaching camp in Jeddah.
The training session was organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology for young cricketers in the city, who were treated to tips and advice from the Pakistan superstar.
The event was part of KAUST’s Winter Enrichment Program and was attended by Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation Chairman Prince Saud bin Mishal Al-Saud and its CEO Tariq Sagga.
“Our aim is to create an ecosystem that fosters growth and attracts international tournaments and teams to play matches here in Saudi Arabia,” Prince Saud said at a recent WEP2024 event.
Akhtar said he had been honored to meet with Prince Saud and praised the young talent on show, adding that they exhibited great ability and expressing his hope to see them become successful in the future.
“It was an honor meeting His Excellency Prince @saudmishal. With his vision, cricket in Saudi Arabia will go places in years to come. I presented him with my original jersey from the 2003 World Cup played in South Africa,” Akhtar posted to X.
Akhtar emphasized the importance of sportsmanship and spirit, as well as physical and mental fitness, as critical components for the formation of an athlete. He shared his life and success story with the students and audience.
He also signed cricket balls, sports shirts and his biography “Controversially Yours,” distributing them among camp participants.
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