Shoaib Akhtar, wearing Ihram, poses for a photo. Courtsey: Twitter
Gulf Today Report
Pakistan’s famous cricketer also known as ‘Rawalpindi Express’ in cricketing world for his fearsome pace bowling will be performing Hajj this year as a state guest of Saudi Arabia.
The pacer announced this news on his social media platforms and posted his pictures wearing Ihram (the two-piece seamless cloth).
He will also be addressing the Hajj Conference attended by leaders of Muslim world in Makkah.
He thanked Saudi Embassy in Pakistan and Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Bin Said Al Malki for help.
“Alhamdolillah going for honorary Hajj as state guest of Saudi Arabia. I will also be addressing the Hajj Conference attended by leaders of the Muslim world in Makkah.
“My gratitude to Saudi Embassy in Pakistan & His Excellency Nawaf Bin Said Al Malki, honorable Ambassador to Pakistan,” the ‘Pindi Express’ tweeted.
In another post he said “beginning this Holy journey with @tahasadaqat . Will InshAllah pray a lot for our beloved country Pakistan which is going through a really tough time.”
“Once again, special thanks to Government of Saudi Arabia for inviting us for this journey with so much love & regard.”
Shoaib Akhtar who was born on Aug.13, 1975, is a Pakistani former cricketer and commentator. Nicknamed the "Rawalpindi Express," he was the first bowler to be recorded bowling at 100 miles per hour, a feat he achieved twice in his career.
Akhtar made his Test match debut in November 1997 as an opening fast bowler and played his first One Day International three months later. Akhtar retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup.
Post retirement, he began a YouTube career by starting his own channel, where he gives reviews on matches and Pakistan cricket.
In the Saudi Holy City of Makkah, dotted with fast food eateries and stalls selling Chinese-made trinkets, vendors are ready to cash in on the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency cited Saleh Bin Taher Banten's remarks in stories early on Wednesday, saying that Muslims should "be patient” in making their plans for the Hajj. The pilgrimage was expected to begin in late July this year.
The Hajj, which begins on Wednesday, normally draws around 2.5 million people for five intense days of worship in one of the world's largest gatherings of people from around the world.
While addressing the ceremony shown live on Pakistani TV channels, General Bajwa expressed his gratitude for representing the Queen, terming it a "unique honour and great privilege.”
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