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When Shoaib Akhtar terrorised Brett Lee

Cricket enthusiasts who grew up during the ’90s will fondly recall the iconic Shoaib Akhtar-Brett Lee rivalry. Whenever Pakistan played Australia, millions of fans around the globe would pitt the two against each other. 

For one, both bowled at lightening pace and terrorising batsmen around the globe. While Shoaib Akhtar, courtesy his fiery fast bowling, hurt many batsmen during his illustrious career (Gary Kirsten, Saurav Ganguly and Brian Lara), one particular video comes to mind whenever we talk about the fear that Akhtar drove into the hearts of batsmen. 

A couple of years ago, Brett Lee appeared on an episode of a famous TV show hosted by comedian Kapil Sharma. Lee fondly recalled how terrorised he was of facing the Rawalpindi Express once when Pakistan and Australia were playing each other. 

Lee had just walked out to bat on a very fast and bouncy Australian pitch and Shoaib Akhtar was raring to go. 

“I had played against Pakistan and Shoaib Akhtar,” Lee can be heard saying in the video clip. The crowd, amused, hoots in response. 

“And me and him [Shoaib Akhtar] get along very well. My nickname is ‘Binga’,” said Lee. 

The former Australian pacer spoke about how nervous he was when he went out to bat against Pakistan, with his hands sweating. 

“I’m sweaty and nervous and I hear ‘Binga, Binga’. And there Shoaib is like, 75 meters back, he’s looking at me and he’s going,’I’m gonna kill you,” said Lee as the audience burst into laughter. 

Lee said Akhtar’s bowl hit him on the foot. 

“I appealed to the umpire, ‘How’s that?’ That’s got to be out, surely,” he joked, as the attendees roared with laughter again. 

Lee lamented how the “silly Australian umpire” gave him not out, which meant he had to face Akhtar again. 

The video clip, which went viral, did catch Shoaib Akhtar’s eye, who took to Twitter and praised his former Australian counterpart, saying that Lee was quite the terror during his cricketing days as well. 

“Binga being very humble there honestly. @BrettLee_58 himself was quite a terror on the field for the batsmen of that era,” he tweeted.