Despite cricket being a major thread in the bilateral relations of India and Pakistan where the sport is considered to be a religion and the players are deemed as Gods, political hostility has severed any kind of cricketing ties that these neighbours once shared amongst themselves. Before the bond was blasted once and forever, the players from pakistan did manage to play in the opening season of IPL.
Out of eight players, four of them were a part of the prestigious Kolkata Knight Riders while the others also left a significant impact on the tournament with Sohail Tanvir walking away with the Purple Cap in the inaugural season of the fray.
In this story we will be looking at the four Pakistani cricketers who played for Kolkata Knight Riders.
1. Shoaib Akhtar
The Rawalpindi Express had an instant impact on the tournament before being sidelined with an injury after playing only three games. In his opening game in the IPL, he went on dismantling the Delhi Daredevils with a blazing display of pace that saw him registering bowling figures of 4-0-11-4. He bowled at a decent economy rate of 7.71. After being sidelined with a niggle, KKR shifted their focus to a more lethal Umar Gul.
2. Umar Gul
Despite playing only 6 games of the tournament and arriving in the latter half, he left an emphatic mark on the surface of IPL as he went on to pick up 12 wickets that saw KKR exuding signs of hope that was missing in the initial days of the fray. The speedster from Pakistan saved his best for the last game of the IPL 2008 that saw him wreaking havoc against Kings Xi Punjab with the bat and the ball.
3. Salman Butt
Despite being an illustrious moniker of the sport, Butt couldn’t really up to the hype that surrounded him. He could only manage to garner 193 runs from 7 games, out of which he had a career-best of 73 while the remaining games saw him blowing hot and cold. The worst part of him was his woeful strike rate of 119.87 that he couldn’t justify for.
4. Mohammad Hafeez
One of the most talented all-rounders from Pakistan, Hafeez didn’t really savour his time in the jersey of KKR that left the Kolkata outfit reeling in agony. The man could only manage 64 runs from 8 matches that saw him scoring at a batting average of 9.14. With the ball in his hand, he could manage only 2 wickets from the 10 overs that he bowled.