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SULTAN – A MEMOIR WASIM AKRAM with Gideon Haigh RELEASING IN INDIA ON 22nd December 2022
NEW DELHI, Dec. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — For twenty years, Wasim Akram let his cricket do the talking – with his electrifying left-arm pace, his explosive striking as a batsman, and his inspirational leadership. For another twenty years, he kept his own counsel about his cricketing days – full of drama, controversy and even mystery – in a country, Pakistan, that to outsiders is a constant enigma.
Sultan tells the story of cricket’s greatest left-arm bowler, and one of its enduring survivors, who was chosen from the streets of Lahore and groomed by Imran Khan to become champion of the world – he was Man of the Match in the final of the 1992 World Cup which Pakistan won.
Along the way were unforgettable rivalries with the legends of his time, from Viv Richards and Ian Botham to Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. All of this against a backdrop of conspiracy and intrigue over ball tampering and match-fixing, about which Wasim finally sets the story straight.
Sultan provides an unprecedented insight into the life – both on and off the field – of a cricketer who revolutionized the sport with his speed and swing, and a patriot buoyed and burdened by the expectations of one of the game’s most fanatical publics.
Commenting on the release of his memoir, Wasim Akram said, “I’m delighted to bring my memoir, Sultan, to cricket lovers and my dear fans in the Indian subcontinent, thanks to my publishers, HarperCollins India. Most cricket autobiographies are written either during your career, when you can see nothing but the game, or immediately afterwards, when you have barely taken off your pads for the last time and are working out who you are now that you are no longer a cricketer. But dividing my time between my new home city of Karachi, my wife Shaniera’s old home city of Melbourne and my adopted city of Manchester has given me a fresh perspective on my cricket, my country and my life. I hope my fans will read Sultan – I’m delighted to share my journey with them.“
Gideon Haigh, co-author of Sultan, said, “Cricket is a game of partnerships, and in a long and memorable cricket career Wasim Akram had a memorable share: Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Waqar Younis, Moin Khan… For the last year or so, he had a less distinguished but still attentive partner: me, as his co-author. Besides wearing many hats – captain, bowler, all rounder, husband, father, Wasim was also an enigma. I said yes immediately, of course, partly also because I’ve always been intrigued as to how great players are up close, how they experience and describe the game. Having said that, I have heard numerous horror stories of ghosts lined up with unwilling, unreliable or unforthcoming subjects. Wasim could not have been more opposite: he approached collaboration sincerely, conscientiously and ever more openly, even when it came to harrowing subjects such as the death of his first wife Huma, surviving diabetes and his grisly battle with addiction. I left the experience of writing Sultan amazed less by Pakistan cricket’s capacity for pulling itself apart than for putting itself back together.“
Udayan Mitra, Executive Publisher, HarperCollins India, said, “As an avid cricket fan, I remember watching with awe through the 1980s and 1990s as Wasim Akram decimated many a stellar batting line-up with his deadly yorkers and those unplayable deliveries that pitched just outside leg and came in, making life very uncomfortable indeed for batsmen. Wasim is one of the all-time greats of the game: the best left-arm fast bowler ever, one of the top all-rounders of all time, and a role model and mentor to so many with whom he has freely shared his tremendous knowledge of cricket. At HarperCollins India, we’re really proud to be bringing Sultan, Wasim’s memoir, written with the wonderful Gideon Haigh, to readers in the Indian Subcontinent. It’s a book I’m looking forward so much to reading!“
“Wasim was a master. He made the ball talk.” – SACHIN TENDULKAR
“Wasim Akram was a triumph of the imagination. He broadened the scope of what could be done in his art with talent and hard work and left fast bowling unrecognizable from what it was before him.” – OSMAN SAMIUDDIN, ESPNcricinfo
“Not only a great bloke but probably the greatest left-arm quick the cricket world has seen.” – ALLAN BORDER
“Great cricketers still marvel at the wonder of Wasim.” – ALAN WILKINS
“History will judge him as one of the finest fast bowlers the game has produced.” – STEVE WAUGH
“Wasim ranks among those at the very top of cricket.” – ANIL KUMBLE
About the authors:
WASIM AKRAM is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket. A former Pakistan cricket captain, he remains popular throughout the cricketing world and often commentates for world cricket events. Akram holds the world record for most wickets in List A cricket, with 881, and he is second only to Sri Lankan off-spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of ODI wickets. He is considered to be one of the founders, and perhaps the finest exponent of, reverse swing bowling and is often referred to as the ‘Sultan of Swing’. In 2009, Akram was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. In October 2013, he was the only Pakistani cricketer to be named in a Wisden all-time Test World XI to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
GIDEON HAIGH has been described by The Guardian‘s Richard Williams as ‘the most gifted cricket essayist of his generation’. Haigh has been a journalist for almost four decades, published more than 40 books and contributed to more than 100 newspapers and magazines.
About HarperCollins Publishers India
HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India is now the recipient of six Publisher of the Year Awards—in 2021 and 2015 at the Publishing Next Industry Awards, and in 2022, 2021, 2018 and 2016 at Tata Literature Live. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.
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