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‘Go to midwicket or they will murder you’ – Shoaib Akhtar recollects captain Ganguly’s advice to him during IPL

"Big Blunder"- Shoaib Akhtar Talks About Picking Tendulkar's Wicket In IPL

During their playing days, the rivalry between Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar generated a great deal of attention. While the Indian batsman gave Akhtar a difficult time on multiple occasions, the Pakistani quick dismissed Tendulkar eight times during international cricket. Tendulkar was also dismissed by the right-arm bowler once during the Indian Premier League (IPL), which turned out to be a rather memorable meeting for the Rawalpindi Express team.

Specifically, it was a match between the Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians and Sourav Ganguly-led Kolkata Knight Riders during the competition’s first season, which occurred in 2008. At the time, Pakistani players were taking part in the Indian Premier League. At the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the Kolkata Knight Riders were dismissed for a dismal 67 when batting first. However, even though MI easily won the game by eight wickets, Akhtar dismissed Tendulkar for a duck, which did not go down well with the home fans.

Sourav Ganguly warned me that “these guys are going to murder you”: Shoaib Akhtar

Akhtar said that Ganguly was forced to modify his fielding stance as a result of the raucous reaction from the crowd. “We had registered a much lower score. When the contest started, the energy in the stadium was palpable. Mumbai happened to be Sachin’s home city. In the match, it was Sachin Tendulkar against Shoaib Akhtar, and we at KKR were fortunate enough to have Shah Rukh Khan in attendance as well,”Akhtar said in an interview with SportsKeeda.

“The stadium, as well as the whole city of Mumbai, was jam-packed. We were having a cordial talk before the match, and both Sachin and I said hello to each other,” he said. Akhtar went on to say that dismissing Tendulkar on that particular day was a “big error” since he had to deal with the wrath of the supporters.

“It was a wonderful field with a terrific atmosphere. The stadium was completely sold out. However, I made the error of dismissing Sachin Tendulkar in the first over itself, which was a major blunder. When I was at fine leg, I was subjected to a barrage of insults. I was ordered by Sourav Ganguly to go to mid-wicket otherwise these guys will murder me.’ Who told you to dismiss Sachin? And to think that happened in Mumbai?” the 46-year-old said.

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