England fast bowler Liam Plunkett had recalled his Test debut when he faced former Pakistan speedster and Worlds fastest bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, for the first time in 2005 at Lahore. Before his debut, Liam Plunkett had shared the dressing room with Akhtar while playing county cricket for Durham.
Shoaib Akhtar was in form and fastest bowler in the world at that time, and he made sure to make Liam Plunkett realize that. Liam Plunkett used the term “Frightening stuff” as he recalled his Test debut.
He recalled the fiery spell from Akhtar in an interview with The Broken Trophy podcast. The World Cup-winner said Akhtar was intimidating to face and threatened to kill him when he walked out to bat as a number 9 for England.
“In county cricket, I was first-change to Shoaib and Harmy. I was at slip for Harmy and leg-slip for Shoaib. I faced Shoaib Akhtar in my first ever Test match. Because I played with Durham before that, I was marking my run-up before the Test, and he just smiled and said, ‘I’m gonna kill you’ and laughed,” recalled Liam Plunkett.
“I remember it like it was yesterday because I had my bat; at that time, you think [now] these bats are so thick and stuff, but it was Kashmir willow, it was really thin. And I was sat ready to bat, I was next in, and the TV screen’s right there, so you can see it’s like 96, 97, 96 mph. Ashley Giles’ stumps get taken out, and I walk out to a guy who’s bowling 90 mph,” he added.
Akhtar could not dismiss his former Durham teammate but did hit him on his shoulder with a bouncer. Liam Plunkett further said he almost ‘sh** his pants’ after being hit.
“I remember the first one, it looked like I played it well,” he stated. “You duck, and you turn, and you can see it travel to the keeper, and the keeper catches it. I got my first medal of honor, and he hit me on the shoulder. I pretty much sh** my pants at that point.”
He had gone on to face 51 deliveries on his debut, scoring 9 runs. The England star was trapped lbw by Akhtar in the second innings as the Rawalpindi Express went on to pick up a 5-wicket haul to help Pakistan win the Test match by an innings and 100 runs.