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Pak tearaway Akhtar had threatened me with deadly beamer: Uthappa

Previous India cricketer Robin Uthappa has said that resigned Pakistani express bowler Shoaib Akhtar had compromised him with a “lethal beamer” during the 2007 One-day International arrangement.

Uthappa recalled the event, which occurred ahead of the fourth One-Day International in Gwalior in November. He said Akhtar approached him during dinner on the eve of the match.

“I recall having dinner together. Shoaib Bhai was also there. He approached me and said, ‘Robin, a job well done [in the opening ODI in Guwahati]. Excellent playing’. And then he said, ‘one additional point: you came out and struck me. Even I have no idea what would happen if you do it again. You could be targeted by a beamer’. I was afraid to approach him after that,” Uthappa told YouTube channel ‘Wake Up With Sorabh’ on Sunday.

Uthappa recalled the chain of events that culminated in Akhtar issuing the alarm.

“We were in Guwahati for a tournament. And, being in eastern India, it gets dark early. We did not have two new balls [for ODIs] at the time. We used to get a ball that was 24 overs old but marginally stronger after 34 overs,” he said.

As India drew closer to victory, Uthappa and Irfan Pathan were on the field.

“Shoaib bowled, and Irfan and I batted. I believe we wanted 12 points to win off 25 balls or something along those lines. I recall him [Akhtar] bowling me a yorker. I missed it from the arm and just saw it enter the blockhole,” Uthappa said.

“I brought the ball to a halt there. It was 154 [kmph]. The next ball was a low full toss, and I connected for four. Following that, we needed three or four runs to win, and I thought to myself, ‘Man, I’ve got to walk out to Shoaib Akhtar and strike him. How much would I have the chance’.

“He bowled a length ball and I took advantage of it; it took the edge and went for four.” “We prevailed,” Uthappa said.

India secured the one-day international series 3-2.

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Written by Ankur J Kakoti

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