Years after taking the last of his 444 international wickets, Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar continues to hurtle at the speed of light, this time to become one of the fastest individuals to gather one million subscribers on Youtube.
Pakistan’s Rawalpindi Express’ Youtube channel, which he has dedicated to the World Cup coverage, crossed the million threshold in just a matter of few days. This is the same channel that was started three months ago but was eventually shut down and was revived only recently.
If one observes the stats of the past 30 days, roughly the period of the World Cup, Akhtar’s channel has gained a little over 9.8 lakh new subscribers.
This is more than Youtube mogul PewDiePie – who registered around 6.5 lakh new subscriptions in the same time.
Through the platform of his channel, Akhtar engages in a detailed analysis of key performances, moments and stats of the World Cup, especially for Pakistan.
While most of his videos have received 1.5-2 million views on an average, his video on Pakistan’s defeat to India in which he mercilessly ripped apart his team, has a staggering 9 million views.
A considerable chunk of this viewership as expected, comes from the Indian side. After reaching the one million mark, Akhtar also thanked his fans and audience from both sides.
Anyone who is even slightly familiar Akhtar’s name, would know that the fiery cricketer is known for often breathing fire mercilessly at his team in times of dismal display of sportsmanship.
Being true to his form, he slammed the cricketers in that video for their listless performance against India that sent the team crashing down at ninth on the table.
While there was hardly anyone from the team who escaped Akhtar’s ire, the fiery pacer was particularly unforgiving on Hasan Ali, who for him turned out to be a damp squib. “Hasan Ali goes to Wagah Border and jumps around to show off his energy but why can he not display the same energy for Pakistan in the World Cup?” he said.
His bitter but extremely nuanced, albeit replete with sarcasm analysis of the game, was exceptionally critical of captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who he dubbed as “unfit”, further slamming him for not just his ‘un’-fitness levels (read: his weight) but also his apparent lack of intent in the marquee encounter.
This particular video went viral among the Indian audiences and was shared extensively on social media.
Pakistan may have won their game against South Africa and kept alive the hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Cup, but that didn’t mean former Pakistan fast bowler didn’t have some scouring criticism reserved for the team once again.
However, in his latest video, Shoaib Akhtar did admit he is hopeful that Pakistan will qualify for the semi-finals and that he didn’t understand why the Pakistan team was playing under pressure.
Akhtar has been one of the most colorful personalities in cricketing history. Even before the onset of bans for failing drug tests, and his confession of callously using supplements to maintain his status as the most terrifying fast bowler the world had ever seen, he was assured of notoriety.
Pakistan had barely tried concealing its distaste for his penchant for his ‘westernized’, ‘rock n’ roll’ way of life. But with Akhtar managing to channel the famous aggression, guile and accuracy of his bowling into Youtube videos, the cricket-loving public’s problem with his ‘drama-baazi’ seems to have ended.