Wasim Akram, one of Pakistan's all-time great all-rounders and former captain, announced his retirement from international cricket after a glorious career spanning two decades which saw him becoming the highest wicket-taker in one-day international cricket.
The 36-year old Akram, now playing for English county Hampshire, told the Sky Sports TV network "I have been thinking about it a lot... There is an end to everything in life. It is time for younger players to come through for Pakistan.
"My future is somewhere else after September. Maybe I will be working in television or coaching," said Akram, who will play for the English county until September this year.
Making his Test and one-day debut in the away-series against New Zealand in 1984-85, Akram raced to grab 414 Test wickets in 104 appearances and has the distinction of capturing the highest number of wickets -- 502 -- in the limited variety of the game as he troubled the best of batsmen with his pace, accuracy and swing.
Although better known as a bowler, Akram also carved a niche for himself as a hard-hitting batsman lower down the order and steered Pakistan to victory in ODIs on a number of occasions.
A disciple of legendary all-rounder Imran Khan, Akram is the only cricketer to achieve two hat-tricks each in both forms of the game. His Test hat-tricks came against Sri Lanka in 1998-99 while in one-dayers he achived the feat against Australia and West Indies in Sharjah in 1989-90.
Apart from his heroics on the field, Akram's career was eventful also off it as he, along with his pace partner Waqar Younis, was accused of ball tampering in England in 1992, came under the shadow of match-fixing in the wake of the Hansie Cronje affair and was charged with taking marijuana during a tour of West Indies in the late 90s.
Born on June 3, 1966 in Lahore, Akram, a leading figure in the long line of Pakistan's cricketers, was being compared to legendary Australian left-handed fast bowler Allan Davidson even before he played his first Test.
In only his second Test, Akram established his credentials snapping ten wickets at Dunedin becoming the youngest bowler to achieve the signal honour.
Learning the art of fast bowling from Imran, Akram quickly established himself as a penetrating bowler, filling his armoury with lethal swinging yorkers, variation of pace, sharply incoming deliveries as well as natural away swingers slanted across the right-hander.
Akram scripted many records during a long and illustrious international career. He was the only bowler to take 400 wickets in both forms of the game and the first to capture 500 one-day wickets.
Akram also played a significant role in Pakistan winning their only World Cup title in 1992 in Australia under the captainship of Imran. The bowler still remembers the three-wicket burst at a crucial stage in the final against England as the high point of his career.
However, as a captain his biggest disappointment was in not being able to emulate the feat of Imran and winning the 1999 World Cup, bowing out to Australia in the final -- a case of so near, yet so far.
Despite flashes of brilliance as a batsman, as in the '92 World Cup and in the Sheikhupura Test against Zimbabwe in 1996-97, when he made 257, Akram failed to justify his potential as a genuine all-rounder.
Akram, the Widen Cricketer of the year 1993, played his last Test match against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2001-02 while his final one-day international match came against Zimbabwe during the World Cup in South Africa after which he was dumped from the side and not considered for selection for the four-nation one-day tournament in Sharjah and the ongoing tri-series in Colombo.