Former Test cricketer and world’s fastest bowler Shoaib Akhtar. — Reuters/File

World’s fastest bowler Shoaib Akhtar has revealed his training to increase bowling speed that ultimately led him to break the 160kph barrier in ICC World Cup 2003.

Talking to Sportskeeda, Akhtar said: “I use to bowl 157 and 158kph consistently but somehow I was unable to click 160kph, but then, I started to train in order to cross the 160kph barrier.”

The Rawalpindi Express added that he had initially tied himself with a tyre and pulled it, but noted that the tyre was too light to build his muscles.

“Later in the nights of Islamabad, I tied myself with a small car and pulled it but this also looked light training for my body.”

Akhtar further added: “I later planned to tie myself with a truck and pull it. This worked out as I started training and managed to pull a truck almost 5 miles.”

For his gym training, the pacer said he doubled his weight training for building muscles. “This started changing my biomechanics.”

Akhtar also managed to change his training in the nets session.

“I started bowling on 26 yards pitch rather than a normal 22 yards pitch and aimed to bowl at 150kph on an extended pitch,” he said. “I later started bowling with an old and torn ball on a 26 yards pitch which gradually increased my pace,” he further added.

Akhtar, while recalling ICC World Cup 2003 said: “My teammates, during ICC World Cup 2003, told me that I’m bowling quite quick and may injure batters during the mega event. I told my fellow teammates that I will break the record of fastest delivery which later I did during ICC World Cup 2003.”

Akhtar holds the record of bowling with 161.3kph against England in the 2003 ICC World Cup.

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