He also played 15 T20 internationals and took 19 wickets before retiring from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup.

As Akhtar celebrates his 40th birthday today, we bring you some interesting facts about the fearsome pacer...

1. Akhtar holds the World record in ODIs for remaining not out in 12 successive innings.

2. Shoaib Akhtar is regarded as the fastest bowler ever in the history of cricket and has bowled the fastest delivery officially recorded at a speed of 161 kph.

3. He bowled at speeds of 161.3kph, 160kph, 159kph and 158.4kph. The fastest three were against New Zealand in 2002 and the other three were against Sri Lanka in the same year.

4. He is the first bowler in the history of cricket to have bowled over 100 mph.

5. Akhtar claimed 467 wickets in 133 first-class matches and 338 wickets in 221 list A matches.

6. Shoaib was born flat-footed; he could never maintain his balance and had a tendency of falling down in his early days.

7. On October 16, 2006, Akhtar was suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board, along with Mohammed Asif after they tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance nandrolone.

8. On April 1, 2008, Akhtar was banned for five years for violating the players' code of conduct. The ban extended to all forms of the game in Pakistan.

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