KARACHI - Pakistani cricket legend Wasim Akram said Wednesday he was lucky to escape unscathed when a gunman opened fire at his car after a traffic collision.
Akram, one of the best left-arm fast bowlers ever to play the game, was on his way to coach at a training camp at the city's National Stadium when the incident happened.
"A car hit mine, I stopped him and then his guy stepped out and fired at my car," he said on the Express News channel.
"He was definitely an official, I have noted the number of the car and given it to the police." Initial reports had said the gunman did not aim at the cricketer. But Akram later said the man had been about to shoot him when someone revealed who he was.
"He tried to shoot me, his gun was pointing at me, then people told him my identity and he fired at the side of my car," Akram told reporters.
"Had the people not told him about me, he would have shot me." Karachi is one of Pakistan's most violent and unpredictable cities, racked on a daily basis by ethnic, political, sectarian and criminal bloodshed.
The 49-year-old Akram, Pakistan's all-time leading Test wicket-taker with 414 in 104 matches, is one of the country's best loved sportsmen.
He retired from playing in 2003 and is currently running a Pakistan Cricket Board fast bowling training camp at the National Stadium.
Along with right-arm partner Waqar Younis, he formed one of the most fearsome fast bowling partnerships in cricket history, leading Pakistan to their sole World Cup title in 1992.