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Waqar interviewed to replace McDermott

Daniel Brettig

June 5, 2012

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Waqar Younis oversees a nets session, Trent Bridge, July 28, 2010
Young Australian fast bowlers could benefit from Waqar Younis' experience © Getty Images
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Waqar Younis, the former captain and coach of Pakistan, has been interviewed for the position of Australian bowling coach, as Cricket Australia intensifies its search for the man to replace Craig McDermott.

Based in Sydney after he concluded a two-year stint as coach of Pakistan in 2011, Waqar is understood to have spoken to CA's team performance manager Pat Howard about taking on a role that was unexpectedly vacated by McDermott at the conclusion of the Australian tour of the West Indies.

Australia's search for a new bowling coach is taking place at a time when many of the best candidates are already tied to other national teams or unwilling to commit to the travel pressures of the job. David Saker, Allan Donald, Joe Dawes and Damien Wright are all employed at international level, while the likes of Andy Bichel and Damien Fleming have said they are unwilling to devote as much time to the job as required by CA.

Another possible candidate, Jason Gillespie, is in his first season as the coach of Yorkshire, while Ali de Winter, who ran McDermott close for the position in 2011, is thought to be enjoying his expanded role in Tasmania as assistant coach of the Tigers and head coach of the Hobart Hurricanes Twenty20 team.

As a part-time member of the selection panel, Bichel saw the improvement McDermott brought to the team, and has said his preference would be for a mentor with proven international pedigree. ''With so many young guys coming through the system, I think you need someone who has played international cricket and who can teach them the stuff in the middle more than the technical stuff, how to get people out,'' Bichel told the Age last month. ''That was one of the great bonuses with Craig.''

Waqar has been refreshed by 10 months off cricket's global caravan. He cited personal and health reasons - both for himself and his wife - when he exited the Pakistan coaching job, but has actively sought a return to coaching with Australia.

Were he to be employed as bowling coach, Waqar would bring valuable knowledge to the Australian dressing room, particularly pertaining to reverse swing, an art the team have struggled to make best use of down the years. Under McDermott, Australia's fast bowlers demonstrated an excellent command of the basics, bowling full, straight and moving the ball conventionally, while also showing tremendous discipline in unhelpful conditions in Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

They will now be looking to build on those gains, and Waqar's mastery of reverse swing, as demonstrated across a celebrated Test match career in which he claimed 373 wickets, would be a useful addition to the team's database of knowledge. His coaching history has included numerous short-term consultancy roles, including with the ECB academy on a tour to India, while he has worked with New South Wales since first moving with his family to Sydney in 2005.

Back then, Waqar had pointed out how much Australia needed a bowling coach, having watched Ricky Ponting's team struggle to match England's results in the 2005 Ashes series. He may now be in line to mentor a highly promising battery of young pacemen over a critical two-year stretch that cultimnates in back-to-back Ashes series in England and Australia in 2012-13.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (June 8, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

@ExplicitPlatinum, Indians would be more than glad to give Sachin to you guys (either into your team as a player or into your dressing room as your coach). He's been harming Indian Cricket for a while now. We wouldn't complain if he harms Pakistan team. Mind you I like the Pakistan team a lot, especially, Wasim bhai, Imran bhai, Zaheer Abbas mia, Sarfaraz Nawaz mia, Ajmal bhai and some more great players from your country. But when it comes to Cricket, as an Indian, I will be happy if Sachin coaches you and you guys play a series against us. Trust me, India will smash your team if Sachin plays for you or coaches you. He is a huge liability, an elephant in the room as Sanjay Manjrekar wants to put it.

Posted by mzshan78 on (June 8, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

I think Sachin Tendulkar is a great cricketer while Wasim Akram has proven himself as a great cricketer as well as a great coach. Every batsman can not be a good coach. Sachin is yet to prove his ability to coach someone. Waqar is a gutsy character and very talented to deal at any level now so I think he deserves a chance.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

@jmcilhinney 'rather handy bowler' this would go down in history as most astonishing the understatement of 2012

Posted by Meety on (June 8, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

@getsetgopk/WickyRoy.paklover - firstly, I stated that I am/was a big fan of Waqar the bowler. Secondly, getting LBWs does not indicate a yorker. I would hazard to guess that with Waqar, he would of not gotten too many LBWs from the inswinging yorker because an umpire would always be wondering if it was doing too much, maybe he would of been an even more dangerous bowler in the era of UDRS? (Dunno)Most LBWs come from GOOD LENGTH deliveries. Thirdly, Malinga will NEVER receive the kudos that Waqar got as his test career is tragically too short. However, there is ample proof that Malinga has an exceptionally great yorker - if you fail to acknowledge this, you are not worth talking to. Fourthly - Of the 3 bowlers you & I have mentioned - Thommo's yorkers were delivered about 10 to 15kph FASTER. I repeat, I hold Waqar's skills in the highest regard, IMO there are 2 bowlers who happenned to bowl yorkers as well as Waqar, it's my OPINION!

Posted by ExplicitPlatinum on (June 8, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

I see A LOT of Indian fans wanting Wasim Akram as their bowling coach. Just think of the Indian fans reactions if just ONE Pak fan wants Sachin Tendulkar as Pak's batting coach. If India want Wasim Akram so badly, then gladly and willingly give us Sachin Tendulkar to coach our young Umar Akmal :D

Posted by tasliskr on (June 8, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

get an aussie coach knows the strength and weakness of our bowlers.helps to play free from injuries and with full fitness.....we got enough bowlers talented to perform in every situations....bird,cutting,coulter nile,copeland,mcdermott,hogan,hastings,haberfield,george,richardson etc,,,,,,,,try each one in a rotation policy...i am sure some of them will find regular place in our teams future tours.....it would be right mix up with our current attack and helps to confuse other teams tooooooo

Posted by Abaa on (June 8, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

what a joke Pakistan looks for coaches all over the place while their own legends are sought out by other countries that recognize their greatness

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (June 7, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

India SHOULD get The Great Wasim bhai as our bowling coach. He mixes so well into our people, players and country at large. We all love Wasim bhai and we want to see him in India's dressing room as our bowling coach. Jai Ho Wasim bhai.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (June 7, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

@Meety,cöme on man!,malinga,thomson gd in their era bt waqar z one of greatest all times,so no comparisons,2ndly leave aside stats,overall impact z way more than d combind impact of these 2,

Posted by getsetgopk on (June 7, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

@Meety: These are test stats for the three bowlers you mentioned. Waqar 373 wickets, bowled and LBW are 212, about 57% of the total wickets he got. Malinga 101 wickets, 46 bowled and LBW, about 45% of the total wickets. Jeff Thomson 169 wickets, 61 bowled and LBW, about 36% of his total wickets. The thing is everyone can bowl a perfect yorker on any given day what separate a GREAT from an ORDINARY is how frequently can they do it. I have never seen anyone do it better than WAQAR. The two bowlers you mentioned, they dont even come close.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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