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Sunday, 28 April, 2002, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Shoaib breaks speed record
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib says he ready to repeat record
  Salute the Rawalpindi Express

Pakistan's speed ace Shoaib Akhtar is now officially the fastest bowler in the world after breaking the 100mph mark.

Previously, the record of the fastest delivery was held by Australian paceman Jeff Thomson.

But no bowler has ever been recorded in three figures - a mark considered cricket's four-minute mile.

Shoaib, 26, set the record with a delivery to Craig McMillan during the third one-day international against New Zealand in Lahore on Saturday, bowled at a speed of 100.04 mph (161 kph).

"I am delighted to bowl that fast," Shoaib told reporters on Sunday.

  Fastest bowlers
100.04 mph, Shoaib Akhtar (Pak), v New Zealand, Lahore, 2002
99.8 mph, Jeff Thomson (Aus), special study*, 1976
98.4 mph, Brett Lee (Aus), v SA, Cape Town, 2001/02
97.8 mph, Andy Roberts (WI), special study*, 1976
96.0 mph, Nantie Hayward (SA, v Ind, Bloemfontein, 2001/02
95.1 mph, Waqar Younis (Pak), v SA, 1993
* Thomson and Roberts were measured in controlled conditions with high-speed cameras

Thomson was clocked at 99.8 mph (160.5 kph) in Australia in 1975 in controlled conditions whereas Shoaib has broken his record during an international match.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has authenticated the historic achievement after doubts were cast on the authenticity of the speed gun.

Two guns were installed at the Gaddafi Stadium - one by cricket's global broadcaster TWI and the other by a local hi-tech firm Cybernet.

Shoaib's fastest delivery was clocked on the Cybernet device as the other one was reportedly out of order.

"The speed machine is authentic and it should be acknowledged throughout the world," Shoaib said.

Nicknamed as the Rawalpindi Express, Shoaib said he was ready to silence sceptics by repeating his feat.

Brett Lee
Australian Brett Lee was also a contender

"With my fitness and the speed I am generating, I can deliver over 100mph any day and I would be delighted if it's accepted."

Shoaib was recorded at 99.2 mph during the Sharjah Cup earlier this month.

However, during the same match on Saturday, he improved his own record, bowling at a speed of 99.419 mph (160 kph), before breaking into three figures.

Saturday's achievement put Shoaib well ahead of his closest rival, Brett Lee.

The Australian has been clocked at 98.4 mph, bowled against South Africa in the Cape Town Test earlier this year.

BBC Sport's Ashish Sharma
"Akhtar has broken a 27-year-old record"
Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar
"I knew that ball would cross the hundred mark"
Australia's Brett Lee
"I am really proud of him, he has done really well"
Pakistan cricket board chairman Tauqir Zia
"I know that he has broken the record"

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See also:

13 Apr 02 |  Cricket
Fire fight gets hotter
17 Feb 02 |  Cricket
Pakistan's new hopes for Shoaib
09 Jun 01 |  NatWest Series
Speed men suffer rough ride
02 May 01 |  England v Pakistan
Sami's quick to impress
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