Early on, in 1999, there wasn’t a more thrilling sight in the world than Shoaib hurtling in off an impossibly long run and beating the world’s best batsmen for pace. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar were clean bowled off successive deliveries at Eden Gardens and the World Cup in England later in the year was all but Shoaib’s.

Other peaks came intermittently, but from 2004 to 2006, he rediscovered a spark; the trophy was the home series win over England in 2005-06 in which he took 17 wickets. By this time not only was he still very, very quick, but he had become an extremely smart bowler, an oft-underrated aspect of his development.