Former fast bowler criticises Whatmore April 10, 2007

Aaqib Javed believes Bangladesh are here to stay

Cricinfo staff

Aaqib Javed heaped praise on Mohammad Ashraful for his match-winning 87 against South Africa © Getty Images

Aaqib Javed, the former Pakistan fast bowler, believes Bangladesh's success at the World Cup is the result of a good system. Aaqib, currently in Bangladesh as coach of a Pakistan Cricket Academy team for a three-week tour, also told The Daily Star that Dav Whatmore's comments on coaching India were ill-timed.

"I heard that there are some political problems in Bangladesh but your cricketers have given the nation good reasons to smile. That's why sports is very important," he said. "I saw the match on TV and I think it's a boost for Bangladesh cricket. After beating India many told that India didn't play well. Rather than praising Bangladesh they were busy criticising Indian cricketers. But after the win against South Africa, I think everybody is now convinced.

"I think the system is very important in modern days. If you want to develop a team you should go through a process and I think you have developed a system which has been paying off. In Pakistan there are a number of talented players but they are not properly groomed. Frequent changes in the management are also big problems back home. You should bridge the gap between international and the first-class cricket like Australia and South Africa if you want to sustain at this level. We also lack this."

Aaqib, 34, believed Bangladesh could win matches at the highest level on their own. "The two wins have taken Bangladesh cricket into a new era. I think there is no need for them to wait for the opposition have a bad day in the field to win."

He also had words of praise for Mohammad Ashraful, whose 83-ball 87 set up victory over South Africa. "He [Ashraful] is very talented and handy. Though he is short, he is aggressive. You have a bunch of young cricketers and they showed that Bangladesh cricket has reasonably grown up. The body language and approach are totally different from the 90s. Despite playing Test cricket, they seemed to be unsure about their own class but these players have the self-belief and pride."

Aaqib, who played 22 Tests and 163 one-day internationals, criticised Whatmore for showing his untimely interest in India. "He should not have said this. When you are in charge of a team and especially involved in a big event, a coach should put his heart and soul behind the team," he said. "I understand that everybody needs money but like doctors and teachers, coaching is also a different kind of profession where ethics is very important. Being the Bangladesh coach, he should have not expressed his desire for other jobs openly. He can negotiate it personally."

On the home front, Aaqib has found support in the form of two legends, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram, to take over as coach of Pakistan. "When I started my coaching career with the Under-15 team, my aim was to gradually improve my position. Now more than 80 per cent players - Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif - are in the team with whom I have experience to work. So I can claim the job."