RIYADH: Pakistan’s fast-bowling legend Wasim Akram met the chairman of the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation, Prince Saud bin Mishaal, on Thursday to talk about the future of the sport in the country.
According to a message posted on the federation’s official Twitter account, @cricketsaudi, the prince “hosted international cricket legend @wasimakramlive Wasim Akram in Riyadh, and discussed future development of the sport in the Kingdom.”
Akram, considered one of the best left-arm fast bowlers in the history of the sport and nicknamed the “Sultan of Swing” for his fast-bowling skills, gave some valuable input and expressed excitement about the upcoming Saudi cricket league, sources said.
During the meeting he was presented with a custom-made jersey by the SACF, according to the federation’s CEO, Tariq Sagga.
Akram’s visit follows a recent strengthening of cricket ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Last week for example, after a meeting with Prince Saud in Riyadh, Javed Afridi, owner of Pakistan Super League franchise Peshawar Zalmi, announced that his team is set to play exhibition matches in the Kingdom.
“In future, the Zalmi team will visit and play with the Saudi (national) team,” he said. Afridi also assured Prince Saud that his team will provide its complete support to efforts to promote cricket in Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan and the Kingdom have diverse bilateral economic, defense and sporting ties. Last month, Pakistan’s women’s football team took part in a four-nation international tournament in the Kingdom, in which they finished runners-up to the hosts.
Since it was established in 2020, the SACF has launched a series of major initiatives, including a national cricket championship, a corporate cricket tournament, a league for expatriate workers, and social programs in several cities.
It oversees 15 official associations representing the sport in nine regions and has announced plans to establish additional associations in the remaining regions to ensure cricket activities take place across the country.