LAHORE-Former Pakistan cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq has revealed that it was their parents’ prayers and obedience, which made renowned all-rounder Shahid Khan Afridi and Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar legends of cricket.

“Both Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar were very obedient to their parents and they served them so much that they always kept on earning their prayers, which helped them both not only make an impressive entry to the cricketing world but also emerge as legends of cricket,” Saqlain said this while speaking at his YouTube here on Friday.

“Afridi amused the world with his aggressive batting performances while Akthar stunned the world with his fastest bowling, and later emerged as one of the dangerous fast bowlers of the world. Both were very passionate cricketers and their passion also helped them emerge as super stars,” he added.

Talking about the success story of Afridi, the former off-spinner said: “During the Pakistan U-19 tour of West Indies, Afridi was in Kenya with me, where he exhibited his batting prowess during a practice session as he sent all the bowls out of ground. The manager asked me to call this boy out of net as we had only 3 to 4 boxes and we couldn’t afford to buy more balls. On very next day, Afridi was given a chance as a pinch hitter. Soon after coming to the crease, he punished every bowler severely. The bowlers, including Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas, were stunned by brilliant batting display of this young batsman. He also hammered the fastest hundred and was widely praised by all during the series.”

He said: “Soon after the series, I was invited by Afridi’s family, who served me very well. Afridi proved himself very obedient and earned a lot of prayers of his father. His father especially prayed for his success, which made an ordinary person the world’s renowned all-rounder. Afridi has established a hospital in his father’s name and keeps on doing charity in his name.”

Revealing the secrets of Rawalpindi Express’ success, Saqlain said that the prayers of his mother were behind him, which made him one of the fastest bowlers of the world. “Shoaib served his mother very well and earned a lot of precious prayers, which made an ordinary pacer, the world’s renowned fastest bowler. He was also very cricket crazy and sometimes despite having injury, he used to bowl the fastest deliveries. He was, in fact, mad about cricket and wanted to achieve the feats, which no one had earned before in fast bowling.

“The purpose of sharing these success stories is to guide our young cricketers that the success always lies behind the hard work as well as prayers of their parents. The more they serve their parents and earn their consecutive prayers, the better and bright their future will be,” he added.

Meanwhile, Saqlain also revealed that legendary late Abdul Qadir had great influence upon his career as he was inspired by him right from his childhood. “It is sad that the legend leg spinner is no more with us, but his legacy, performances and magic will stay with us forever. He was my true hero and I will give lot of credit to him as his style compelled my mind to think differently. He gave me tips how to bowl doosra successfully, which worked well and helped me earn lot of success throughout my career,” he concluded.