'Used the money to put petrol': Pakistan legend opens up on his tape-ball career before international success

The former Pakistan cricketer shed light on the craze of tape-ball cricket in his country. 
Wasim Akram?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4

Former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram opens up on the grave nature of tape-ball cricket in his country and how it has helped in becoming the Sultan of the Swing. The legendary cricketer revealed that after covering an important part of the tennis ball with tape, cricketers can easily compete in matches as the ball swings in both directions. In addition to this, the well-known cricket commentator revealed that throughout his early years as a cricketer, he practiced a lot of tape-ball cricket, which helped him become one of the greatest pacers in the world.

The former left-arm seamer disclosed the match fees he earned in his younger days and how he managed to fit all of his monthly expenditures to take the game as his professional career. Akram revealed that he played a lot of tap ball during his childhood days. 

I have played a lot of tape-ball cricket when I was young: Wasim Akram

He further added that he used to take 10 rupees per match when he was in the 10th grade. Wakram says that he used to earn around 200 rupees per month, which he had used in the petrol of his bike, which was four rupees per litre in his young days. The cricketer-turned-analyst said that he and his younger brother used to play tape-ball cricket in the garden of their house.

"I have played a lot of tape-ball cricket when I was young. When I was in 10th class, I used to take 10 rupees per match. It was big deal back then as I used to get two hundred rupees per month in which I had to also put petrol in my bike. It was four rupees per litre back then," Wasim Akram said on Sportskeeda.

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He further added that professional tape-ball players play in official tournaments held in Pakistan's Tier-2 cities and charge lakhs of rupees. The 58-year-old star included the names of some well-known tape-ball cricket players. Akram highlighted that tape-ball cricket is an important celebration in Islamic nations, especially during the month of Ramadan, when it is played the whole night.

"Players like Taimur, Nadeem, etc. take 25-30 lakh rupees per tournament. They have special techniques for these tournaments and these tournaments take place in Tier 2 cities with packed houses watching the game under the lights in the night."

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What is tape-ball cricket?

This type of game began in Pakistan's Karachi city and has since spread across the world, becoming increasingly popular, especially among South Asian populations. In addition to this, the main object of the game is a tennis ball that has been taped up to produce different bounce and swing patterns on any surface. It also means that it can be played anywhere and that no protective gear, such as helmets or pads, is needed to play.  

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