May 6, 2013

Wasim Akram: the gift that keeps on giving

All these years after he retired, we're still seeing his legacy play out in Pakistan cricket
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If you're a pace bowler aspiring to make it big, it's hard to imagine a more incredible treat than being able to bowl under the watchful eye of Wasim Akram.

You mark out your run-up, get a grip on the seam, and launch into your delivery stride, while Akram stands a few paces behind and assesses your potential. After you've delivered the ball, he walks over and points out the areas where you could improve. Then he asks you to have another go, and the process gets repeated a few times.

For ten absorbing days last month, this is precisely what Akram did with a select group of Pakistan's promising youngsters. The disciples included those already in the national side as well as those knocking on its doors, plus four raw seamers picked from a countrywide talent hunt. The camp convened every morning from 9am to 1pm under Karachi's blazing April sun.

Akram is almost 47 and has diabetes but you couldn't really tell. He looks as fit as a panther and spent all those hours out there concentrating and critiquing, without showing any signs of hardship.

Occasionally he felt the need to turn his arm over. As far as he was concerned, this was simply a practical demonstration of his art, but the effect on everybody else was breathtaking. He only bowled off a couple of paces, but the ball still nipped and zipped. Once or twice he merely rolled his arm over from a dead stop. The ball still shot through and swung around. It was the equivalent of Picasso casually slapping paint on a canvas, or Mozart tapping on some piano keys in boredom.

Akram's talent and career were a gift to Pakistan, and as the years go by it is proving to be the kind of gift that keeps on giving. An intensive hands-on tutorial such as a training camp is but one example of his magic rubbing off. A much greater ripple effect is the flowering of left-arm seamers in Pakistan, which has witnessed a remarkable bloom in recent years.

Approximately 10% of Pakistan's general population is supposed to be left-handed, but since Akram's retirement in 2003 there have been far more left-arm seamers at the international level than this figure would predict. Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, and Rahat Ali - it has been a virtual explosion. There have also been few lesser-known names, including Mohammad Khalil, Samiullah Niazi, Kamran Hussain and Najaf Shah, who each played only a handful of games. If you examine Pakistan's entire 61-year Test cricket history, there have been 20 players (discounting Gul Mohammed and Ijaz Ahmed) bowling left-arm medium pace or faster ; astoundingly, half of them have appeared in the wake of Akram's career.

Comparison with other teams brings this phenomenon into even sharper focus. Left-arm seamers entering international cricket in the post-Akram era comprise 30% of Pakistan's pace-bowling crop, but in the other nine Test-playing teams their collective proportion is only 12%. This two-and-a-half-fold blip demonstrates the extent to which his younger compatriots have been bewitched by Akram's inspiring spell.

If you examine Pakistan's entire 61-year Test cricket history, there have been 20 players bowling left-arm medium pace or faster; astoundingly, half of them have appeared in the wake of Akram's career

Akram's involvement with the Karachi camp was not limited to technical analysis. He also spent a good deal of face time with the boys, sharing meals and drinks, and telling stories.

One of his themes was the importance of physical training through running laps around the ground, which is imperative for building stamina and reserve. During Akram's early days in the Pakistan side, the pace-setter for the fast-bowling contingent's training routine was none other than Imran Khan, and it was unthinkable that the lads would stop running before Imran did. Imran taught them the value of toil and labour, and Akram tried to faithfully pass this lesson on to the attendees of his camp.

He also spoke to the boys about personal grooming, comportment, articulation, and looking the part. Speaking with ease and confidence, looking slim, and sporting trendy shirts and designer shades (not to mention once hobnobbing with a former Miss Universe), Akram is certainly a credible preacher of such advice. To drive the message home, he even had one of Karachi's leading fashion stylists - a chic beautician who goes by the solitary name Nabila - give pointers to the boys on culture and couture.

It may be early to say how much of Akram's instruction and wisdom the youngsters managed to absorb, but you can't deny the value of the exercise. The tradition of learning at the feet of grandmasters is timeless, and it has stood the test of time precisely because it has proved so effective. The Pakistan board deserves a great deal of credit for making it happen, and for assigning resources as a priority. Pakistan's full-time bowling coach Mohammad Akram was present throughout the duration of the camp, and head coach Dav Whatmore also came in for a couple of days. Chief selector Iqbal Qasim was also present at intervals.

Now if we could only get something similar set up on the batting front. Word is that Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul-Haq are both available and willing. PCB, what are you waiting for?

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • indianpunter on May 6, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    As an indian supporter, i trembled every time Akram ambled into bowl against us. It was almost as if he could make the ball do anything and that he would decide what to bowl 10 milliseconds before release. A true master of the game and will always be in my all time greatest list. The ball he bowled Rahul Dravid in the Chennai test 1999, remains etched in memory, like no other. Pitching middle and off, seemed to be shaping away, beating Dravid's forward defence and clipping the off bail. Wasim Akram, take a bow, legend.

  • KiwiRocker- on May 6, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    As usual Saad writes a beautiful article about one of finest sportsman Pakistan has ever produced.I have been watching cricket since I was barely able to speak...I myself played first class cricket ( for Pakistan as well as New Zealand), and I have never ever seen a ball that was half as good as Wasim's bowl to Chris Lewis in WC 1992. One must not forget that Wasim owed a lot of his success to another legendary fast bowler Waqar Younis. Personally, I have always been Waqar's fan as his banana swininging deliveries and faster pace made him all more amazing! I will also add that Wasim's influcence has not only been on Pakistan...You ask Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan...All these bowlers consider Wasim as their role model. There is always a debate that Brian Lara and Kallis are superior players than Tendulya! This is true as they won matches.Same goes for Wasim, he actually won matches for Pakistan with bat, bowl and as a captain..Junaid Khan: Learn from the master as much u cud!

  • Daveptee on May 6, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    While there can always be the Tendulkar/Lara/Bradman debate ...there is no doubt at all when it comes to bowling.I remember an article where Akram's artistry was likened to that of an expert locksmith who slowly unravels the mystery of the lock. A rare combination.....tremendous talent/ dedication/ temperament/ motivation/ spirit and above all, a great human being. He is the bowler I would have had bowling for my life.Just a few tips from him were enough to make Zaheer Khan a lethal bowler......imagine what he could have done to Aamer.....

  • niddib on May 6, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    I am an Indian and I remember holding my breath whenever Akram used to bowl. He was such a dangerous player that he could the tide of the game in an over or two. I have witnessed Kris Srikkant hopping, taking blows on his body and trying to somehow keep the ball away from his body to play his shots but the ball kept swinging into him, cramping him, and denying any decent contact with the bat, over after over. I will never forget his large frame, his bowling action, ability to generate pace, bounce and swing with couple of strides. Above all, he is a great character, decent human beingand great ambassador of game. Hats off to him. I wish we can go back in time and see him ball again.

  • on May 9, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    I had the pleasure of meeting Wasim Akram in Toronto couple of years ago, and he was here for a promotional event and bowled off of couple of steps and boy he can make the ball talk. I am an Indian, but above all I am a cricket lover, and I am glad I spent my childhood and early teenage years seeing wasim bowl. I am not aware of politics in Pakistani cricket, but Pakistani authorities should get him on board, he is a wonderful advert and role models for not just fast bowlers, but Pakistani cricket in general. Wasim, Imran Khan, Younis Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed are my favourite Pakistani cricketers, boy they could play, also because the way these people conducted themselves off of the field, take a bow gentlemen!

  • on May 7, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    A true legend, master of the bowling on flat tracks like Sharjah. Apart from his swing, his bouncers were so well directed that it was hard to see them off. Batsmen were usually double minded whether to go on front foot or stay in crease while facing him. But above all his ability to think ahead of batsmen gave him more success. Hats off to you Wasim bhai.

  • on May 7, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    The fact that we have had so many left arm seamers in and out of the squad says more about the PCB's desire to produce another Wasim Akram from the ranks rather than the quality of these men which is obviously no where near the great Left Armer's since most of them (barring Amir and Junaid) find their way back to the domestic circuit after a run of dismal performances. As opposed to right arm fast bowlers who have to back up their skills with a great track record in the domestic circuit before they are drafted into the international squad where they more often than not linger around for a long time.

  • Dannymania on May 7, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Finally a good article by saad shafqat. Man you've disappointed us for ages.Now even if your article is a little better than what it always is,we think that it is splended.A shame for u,but a treat for us a readers.

  • shoaibazeem on May 7, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    It is very good step by PCB, I think PCB should involve Wasim with Pakistan National team on regular basis (at least twice in a year). I think this would really improve our Fast bowling strength.

  • david44 on May 7, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    @crazydips you live in a dream land bro go check the stats out of all the centuries he scored only one just one century against Waseem may be in your book he is better then any Pakistani for me i will take Waseem any given day over Tendulker

  • indianpunter on May 6, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    As an indian supporter, i trembled every time Akram ambled into bowl against us. It was almost as if he could make the ball do anything and that he would decide what to bowl 10 milliseconds before release. A true master of the game and will always be in my all time greatest list. The ball he bowled Rahul Dravid in the Chennai test 1999, remains etched in memory, like no other. Pitching middle and off, seemed to be shaping away, beating Dravid's forward defence and clipping the off bail. Wasim Akram, take a bow, legend.

  • KiwiRocker- on May 6, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    As usual Saad writes a beautiful article about one of finest sportsman Pakistan has ever produced.I have been watching cricket since I was barely able to speak...I myself played first class cricket ( for Pakistan as well as New Zealand), and I have never ever seen a ball that was half as good as Wasim's bowl to Chris Lewis in WC 1992. One must not forget that Wasim owed a lot of his success to another legendary fast bowler Waqar Younis. Personally, I have always been Waqar's fan as his banana swininging deliveries and faster pace made him all more amazing! I will also add that Wasim's influcence has not only been on Pakistan...You ask Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan...All these bowlers consider Wasim as their role model. There is always a debate that Brian Lara and Kallis are superior players than Tendulya! This is true as they won matches.Same goes for Wasim, he actually won matches for Pakistan with bat, bowl and as a captain..Junaid Khan: Learn from the master as much u cud!

  • Daveptee on May 6, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    While there can always be the Tendulkar/Lara/Bradman debate ...there is no doubt at all when it comes to bowling.I remember an article where Akram's artistry was likened to that of an expert locksmith who slowly unravels the mystery of the lock. A rare combination.....tremendous talent/ dedication/ temperament/ motivation/ spirit and above all, a great human being. He is the bowler I would have had bowling for my life.Just a few tips from him were enough to make Zaheer Khan a lethal bowler......imagine what he could have done to Aamer.....

  • niddib on May 6, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    I am an Indian and I remember holding my breath whenever Akram used to bowl. He was such a dangerous player that he could the tide of the game in an over or two. I have witnessed Kris Srikkant hopping, taking blows on his body and trying to somehow keep the ball away from his body to play his shots but the ball kept swinging into him, cramping him, and denying any decent contact with the bat, over after over. I will never forget his large frame, his bowling action, ability to generate pace, bounce and swing with couple of strides. Above all, he is a great character, decent human beingand great ambassador of game. Hats off to him. I wish we can go back in time and see him ball again.

  • on May 9, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    I had the pleasure of meeting Wasim Akram in Toronto couple of years ago, and he was here for a promotional event and bowled off of couple of steps and boy he can make the ball talk. I am an Indian, but above all I am a cricket lover, and I am glad I spent my childhood and early teenage years seeing wasim bowl. I am not aware of politics in Pakistani cricket, but Pakistani authorities should get him on board, he is a wonderful advert and role models for not just fast bowlers, but Pakistani cricket in general. Wasim, Imran Khan, Younis Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed are my favourite Pakistani cricketers, boy they could play, also because the way these people conducted themselves off of the field, take a bow gentlemen!

  • on May 7, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    A true legend, master of the bowling on flat tracks like Sharjah. Apart from his swing, his bouncers were so well directed that it was hard to see them off. Batsmen were usually double minded whether to go on front foot or stay in crease while facing him. But above all his ability to think ahead of batsmen gave him more success. Hats off to you Wasim bhai.

  • on May 7, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    The fact that we have had so many left arm seamers in and out of the squad says more about the PCB's desire to produce another Wasim Akram from the ranks rather than the quality of these men which is obviously no where near the great Left Armer's since most of them (barring Amir and Junaid) find their way back to the domestic circuit after a run of dismal performances. As opposed to right arm fast bowlers who have to back up their skills with a great track record in the domestic circuit before they are drafted into the international squad where they more often than not linger around for a long time.

  • Dannymania on May 7, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Finally a good article by saad shafqat. Man you've disappointed us for ages.Now even if your article is a little better than what it always is,we think that it is splended.A shame for u,but a treat for us a readers.

  • shoaibazeem on May 7, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    It is very good step by PCB, I think PCB should involve Wasim with Pakistan National team on regular basis (at least twice in a year). I think this would really improve our Fast bowling strength.

  • david44 on May 7, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    @crazydips you live in a dream land bro go check the stats out of all the centuries he scored only one just one century against Waseem may be in your book he is better then any Pakistani for me i will take Waseem any given day over Tendulker

  • on May 6, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    I remember watching a video of Wasim Akram in the mid-80s for the first time. The very first ball I saw him bowl literally got me out of my seat with excitement.

  • on May 6, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    one of the true all times greats!!!

  • Mushtanda on May 6, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    He made me wish I too were a southpaw.

  • on May 6, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    We should be so grateful to Akram for taking SOOO much time off to coach our players for a FULL TEN DAYS! WOW!

    Honestly, i don't think it will make a difference at all, and frankly, what kind of a man who really cares about his country's fast bowlers spends more time training players in the IPL than he does training national team players.

    Yawn. Boring article that once again showers praise on a man who was a dictatorial captain complete with his own scandals.

  • on May 6, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Still remember the 1992 world cup final like it was yesterday, just as everyone thought it was getting away from us Wasim bowled Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis and the ball to Allan Lamb has never been matched and will most probably will never be..True legend..the best thing to have ever happened to Pakistan cricket.

  • LeftBrain on May 6, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    good article about the importance of former greats in helping young talent flourish. And Wasim is doing it since so long, Lee and Johnson and Vaas and Nehra and Zaheer and lot more. It is interesting that he is the most popular Pakistani cricketer in India, plainly becuase he keep helping their struggling bowlers and becuase of him they got Zaheer to the level he was couple of years ago...... it is also interesting that we dont see a similar selfless effort from former Indian batsmen, some of them are supposedly great, never heared of any incident whent hey went out to help non-Indian batsmen ever. may be something for them to think about

  • getsetgopk on May 6, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    How does one walk the earth so humble knowing that he is the greatest left arm fast bowler the game has ever seen in its 135 years history? How does it feel like being a Wasim Akram, the undebatable, the unquestionable, the Mohammad Ali among left armers, if I could, would tear heaven and hell to have that feeling even if only for five seconds. Perfection is a fantasy they tell us, but for us, its a living and breathing Wasim Akram.

  • on May 6, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    The greatest ever fast bowler to grace the game. A true legend HATS OFF TO THE GRAND MASTER.

  • Young_Hindustani on May 6, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    @KiwiRocker i dont understand how you drag Sachin into it its about wasim so talk about him.. sachin was , is and will be better then all of above mention cricketers...and ofcorse not to mention he is head and shoulders above any cricketer ever produce by pakistan.. its amazing how someone can carry a billion hopes on his shoulders day in and day out for 23 years.. as excriketers will say greatness is measured by longativity in game... for instance inzi started 3 years after sachin and is done playing 6 yrs before sachin and ofcorse sachin is still playing at highest level... and u know Dharmasena (ex sl cricket and now umpire) he started playing 4-5 yrs after sachin and now he allready an umpire for few yrs and sachin still playing...

  • sean_kelly on May 6, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Greatest bowler of my cricket-watching life. Simply beautiful to watch.

  • on May 6, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    A legacy of aspiring left-arm quicks is well and good, but if a luminary like Wasim Akram shows up once every generation you may consider yourself richly blessed.

  • on May 6, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    what seems to me is paramount,is the ability to bowl in all condition's.While applauding the PCB for their initiative in getting Akram on board,i would suggest secondments's overseas for the young bowlers,be it right or left arm.It's good to have some promising left armers but adaptability in all condition's should be top of the coaching manual.

  • ultrasnow on May 6, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    For an Indian fan Wasim Akram has always been a popular figure perhaps even more popular than the great Imran Khan. It's to Wasim's credit that he also makes for a wonderful human being. My lingering memory of Wasim Akram LIVE is where he turns on his heel and surprises the batsman from a shortened run-up beating him for sheer pace! Perhaps, the Greatest fast bowler ever.

  • on May 6, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    @ kiwirocker, why does every comment of yours have to involve sachin or sehwag. Firstly, you are talking about these pakistani bowlers, allan donald rated sachin as the best he bowled to, pollock rated sachin the best, mcgrath and warne rated sachin and lara as the toughest they bowled to, murali rated brian lara the best but also rated sachin second. Even wasim and waqar rate sachin very highly (not the best they bowled to). Also were in the world did they say that kallis was better than sachin.

    I myself am a lara fan, but sachin is no 2. And seriously kallis (very good batsman and a alltime great allrounder, but nothing compared to ponting, lara and sachin(.

  • on May 6, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    As Alan Border said - if I were to be reborn as a cricketer, I would want to be Wasim Akram.

  • Fahii on May 6, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    It doesnt matter to which country you belong to.......when comes to cricket who have good understanding admit that none will be like waseem akram. The most complete fast bowler on the planet in the history of cricket ever been produced.

  • on May 6, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    I rate as best left hand pace bowled played in the cricket history. Apart that post retirement his contribution to the Indian/Pakistani cricket is amazing. All the best Akram!!!

  • Stark62 on May 6, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Wasim Akram and Malcolm Marshall are without a shadow of a doubt, the two best bowlers of all time!!

  • terrainwarrior on May 6, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    A true legend of the game, Wasim Akram was one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time.His pairing with Waqar was certainly nothing less than any WI or Australian bowling pairs.If Waqar was precise with his yorkers,it was Akram who was accurate with his swing successfully inherited from Imran Khan.It was also his useful batting abilities that helped Pakistan many a times -- the 275 against Zimbabwe & the last ball six of Viv Richards which helped Pakistan to win the Nehru cup in 1988. He was truly remarkable.Sadly Pakistan hasn't been able to produce anyone similar to Akram or a gutsy batsman like Javed Miandad post their retirements although I (although being an Indian) would say that there is no dearth of fast bowlers & cricketing talent in Pakistan.Perhaps like Tendulkar,there can't be another Akram or Miandad.

  • on May 6, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    Excellent Work very good story

  • Syed_imran_abbas on May 6, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Wasim is my fav bowler of all time. I have never seen anyone better than him. He was so good with bat awell. I hope Wasim and waqar spend more time with our Pakistani guys. Its the time to give back. I hope if imran wins this election, cricket management in pakistan will definatley get better along with other things.

  • on May 6, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    At the beginning, we thought batsmen were in decline, but soon realised we were in the presence of a truly great bowler who could get anyone out. Fast arm, swing, seam, disguised pace, Wasim had it all. Good to see Pakistan making good use of him.

  • on May 6, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Wasim Akram is that one name which I still secretly wish to see in the XI whenever Pakistan play.

  • on May 6, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    I can still hear Wasim Akram in my memory scream 'Catchaayyyy' when a batsman used to edge his delivery to the keeper. This along with countless other memories make me nostalgic whenever I read or see anything with Wasim Akram in it. Makes me wish I can go back in time and watch him bowl again.

  • KarachiKid on May 6, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    If PCB had enough resources they should have had Wasim Akram on a full time basis. But I think that would be too costly. I am not convinced with Mohammad Akram being the full time bowling coach. Aaqib was better, Younus was even better. Maybe they could consider Shoaib Akhter. You need to have a lot of international experience under your belt to be coaching at this leve. Though I like this gentleman, Mohammad Akram, Pakistani bowling has been on constant decline since last two or three years. Even our workhorses like Gul are on unabated downward slide. To me its matter of proper coaching.

  • smalishah84 on May 6, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    Since Wasim's retirement watching cricket has not been the same

  • KK47 on May 6, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    My biggest regret is that I never watched Wasim bowl for my team. Quite simply, he was the best. Cunning, hostile, intelligent, quick, intimidating, chilling... I can't find enough adjectives to describe him. He had everything every fast bowler only dreams. And he did all this with so much ease and will that it's almost impossible to comprehend. Pakistan spectators should be cursing PCB for not allowing him to take charge of Pakistan cricket team much earlier. I am quite sure all this spot-fixing controversy would never had happened with Wasim at the helm. Next to Imran, Wasim is the next most respected and revered cricketer and mentor in Pakistan. As we say, better late than never and let's hope Pakistan cricket benefits from his presence.

  • on May 6, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Great column by Saad Shafqat .. he is always very eloquent and articulate in explaining his point ... we are blessed to watch waseem and waqar bowling from both ends .. great player ... world is so beautiful and exiting beacuse of masters like him...

  • on May 6, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    We make a living by what we get,we make a life by what we give...Wasim have always given back more than what he has received from pakistan cricket,world cricket,his 'skipper' Imran and his fans round d world..we should appreciate and acknowledge his efforts to extend his (left): arm to all fast bowlers irrespective from where they belong to..Thanks to the columnist and all people who have given wonderful posts..

  • criteek on May 6, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    What a contrast to the perception we had of Pakistani bowlers earlier. It is so common to think of them as gifted players who perform based on which side of the bed they wake up from. Highlights the discipline and interest in their trade that proved so critical for their sucess over a period of time. But personal grooming is giving it an all too different dimension. Why would you want to enforce it in a cricket field?, to please whom? We (cricket enthusiast's) adore them for their cricketing skills. If you're successful on the field the glamour agencies will do it for you off field.

  • sherishahmir on May 6, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    Wasim is a true legend and great ambassador of the game and youngsters who participated in the camp would definitely get benefit in their future cricket bowling careers either they represents Pakistan or not. At the same time as mentioned by Saad Shafqat Pak does need a batting camp, where we can invite legends like Miandad and Inzamam to find some exciting batting talent.

    Great work and initiative by PCB which is to be applauded.

  • on May 6, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    we need to sign him as bowling coach if not atleast we should involve him in the academies. We also need to take the services of inzimam and miandad at any level international or domestic, cant afford to waste these legends.

  • ABLcric on May 6, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    self-discipline is key to progress. Wasim demonstrated height of discipline in both his personal and professional career, despite set backs (both personal and professional). Nowadays, bowlers (and batsmen) are looking for short cut progress. They need good mentor to help them realize that hard work, consistency and discipline pays off in long run.

  • on May 6, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    i only follow cricket due to the pacers from pakistan ,austrillia ,sa and to some extent england, as i love watching chin -music sights.I am so excited to watch a handful of pacers in ct,at display namely irfan ,steyn ,starc ,southee,anderson ,junaid, finn, morkel and co.who can foget the beast like pacers shoib akthar ,lee bond etc. who when used to run to deliver a ball and one could have feel terror in batsmen eyes, this was a fascinating sight particularly when akthar was running, oh Allaha ,what a feirce pacer he was "" Cheers from j&k""""".

  • on May 6, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    If there were a bowling god in cricket - Marshall would be his right arm and Akram would be his left. And not just in skill, both of these men find universal acclaim and respect for being immensely competitive on field, yet, unabashedly 'giving' and affable off it. Marshall is only in our hearts and videos - the bowlers of this era could do little more than absord Akram's wisdom every chance they get.

  • aarifboy on May 6, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Wasim and Marshal looked very hostile,Marshal was shorter and intense right armer and Wasim was taller and casual left armer.

  • on May 6, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Well written, it is never too late PCB, well done. Akram inspired a generation, and his affects on Pakistan, Indian, Sri Lankan, Aussies, and English bowlers can be seen easily; be it Zaheer, Johnson or Aamir.

  • kapilesh23 on May 6, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Wasim Akram is encyclopedia of left arm fat bowling just like Warne is for Leg Break or Murali for Off Break. I doubt there is hardly any Indian cricket fan who dislikes him. After number of articles written about him and describing same stuff over and over again I am still not bored reading about Wasim. Just can't get enough of Wasim Akram.

  • kapilesh23 on May 6, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Wasim Akram is encyclopedia of left arm fat bowling just like Warne is for Leg Break or Murali for Off Break. I doubt there is hardly any Indian cricket fan who dislikes him. After number of articles written about him and describing same stuff over and over again I am still not bored reading about Wasim. Just can't get enough of Wasim Akram.

  • on May 6, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Well written, it is never too late PCB, well done. Akram inspired a generation, and his affects on Pakistan, Indian, Sri Lankan, Aussies, and English bowlers can be seen easily; be it Zaheer, Johnson or Aamir.

  • aarifboy on May 6, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Wasim and Marshal looked very hostile,Marshal was shorter and intense right armer and Wasim was taller and casual left armer.

  • on May 6, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    If there were a bowling god in cricket - Marshall would be his right arm and Akram would be his left. And not just in skill, both of these men find universal acclaim and respect for being immensely competitive on field, yet, unabashedly 'giving' and affable off it. Marshall is only in our hearts and videos - the bowlers of this era could do little more than absord Akram's wisdom every chance they get.

  • on May 6, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    i only follow cricket due to the pacers from pakistan ,austrillia ,sa and to some extent england, as i love watching chin -music sights.I am so excited to watch a handful of pacers in ct,at display namely irfan ,steyn ,starc ,southee,anderson ,junaid, finn, morkel and co.who can foget the beast like pacers shoib akthar ,lee bond etc. who when used to run to deliver a ball and one could have feel terror in batsmen eyes, this was a fascinating sight particularly when akthar was running, oh Allaha ,what a feirce pacer he was "" Cheers from j&k""""".

  • ABLcric on May 6, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    self-discipline is key to progress. Wasim demonstrated height of discipline in both his personal and professional career, despite set backs (both personal and professional). Nowadays, bowlers (and batsmen) are looking for short cut progress. They need good mentor to help them realize that hard work, consistency and discipline pays off in long run.

  • on May 6, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    we need to sign him as bowling coach if not atleast we should involve him in the academies. We also need to take the services of inzimam and miandad at any level international or domestic, cant afford to waste these legends.

  • sherishahmir on May 6, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    Wasim is a true legend and great ambassador of the game and youngsters who participated in the camp would definitely get benefit in their future cricket bowling careers either they represents Pakistan or not. At the same time as mentioned by Saad Shafqat Pak does need a batting camp, where we can invite legends like Miandad and Inzamam to find some exciting batting talent.

    Great work and initiative by PCB which is to be applauded.

  • criteek on May 6, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    What a contrast to the perception we had of Pakistani bowlers earlier. It is so common to think of them as gifted players who perform based on which side of the bed they wake up from. Highlights the discipline and interest in their trade that proved so critical for their sucess over a period of time. But personal grooming is giving it an all too different dimension. Why would you want to enforce it in a cricket field?, to please whom? We (cricket enthusiast's) adore them for their cricketing skills. If you're successful on the field the glamour agencies will do it for you off field.

  • on May 6, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    We make a living by what we get,we make a life by what we give...Wasim have always given back more than what he has received from pakistan cricket,world cricket,his 'skipper' Imran and his fans round d world..we should appreciate and acknowledge his efforts to extend his (left): arm to all fast bowlers irrespective from where they belong to..Thanks to the columnist and all people who have given wonderful posts..