Akram is regarded as one of the best fast bowlers in the history of cricket. He holds the world record for most wickets in List A cricket with 881 and is second only to Sri Lankan off-spin bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of One Day International wickets with 502. He is considered to be one of the founders and perhaps the finest exponent of reverse swing bowling. The revolutionary nature of reverse swing initially resulted in accusations of ball tampering by cricket critics, although the skill of the reverse swing delivery has now been accepted as a legitimate ability in cricket. Akram's later career was also tarnished with accusations of match fixing by critics, although these remain unproven.
On 30 September 2009, Akram was one of five new members inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.