Former India cricketer Robin Uthappa has said that retired Pakistani express bowler Shoaib Akhtar had threatened him with a “deadly beamer” during the 2007 One-day International series.
Recalling the incident, which happened ahead of the fourth ODI in Gwalior in November, Uthappa said that Akhtar met him during dinner on the eve of the match.
“I remember we all were having dinner together. Shoaib bhai was there as well. He came to me and said ‘Robin, well played [in the first ODI in Guwahati]. Good game’. And then he said, ‘one more thing: you walked out and hit me. If you do that again, even I don’t know what will happen. You might get a beamer directed at your head’. After that, I didn’t even dare walk out to him,” Uthappa told YouTube channel ‘Wake Up With Sorabh’ on Sunday.
Uthappa recollected the sequence of events that led Akhtar to issue the warning.
“We were playing a game in Guwahati. And since it’s in the east of India, it gets dark there early. Back then, we did not have two new balls [for ODIs]. After 34 overs, we used to get a ball that used to be 24 overs old but slightly better,” he said.
As India closed in on a win, Uthappa and Irfan Pathan wer at the cease.
“Shoaib was bowling and Irfan and I were batting. I think we needed 12 to win off 25 balls or something like that. I remember he [Akhtar] bowled a yorker to me. I missed it from the arm and only saw it coming straight into the blockhole,” said Uthappa.
“I stopped the ball dead there. That was 154 [kmph] something. The next ball was a low full toss and I hit the ball for four. So, after that, we needed three or four runs to win and I told myself, ‘Man, I have to walk out to Shoaib Akhtar and hit him. How many times will I get that opportunity’.
“He bowled a length ball and I did it; it took the edge and it went for four. We won the match,” Uthappa said.
India won the ODI series 3-2.