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Mohammad Akram named Pakistan bowling coach

Umar Farooq

August 24, 2012

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Mohammad Akram has Stephen Adshead caught behind, Surrey v  Gloucestershire, The Oval, May 5, 2006
Mohammad Akram has been handed a one-year contract as bowling coach © Getty Images
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Former Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Akram has been named Pakistan's bowling coach for a probationary period of one year. He will join the squad in the UAE for the series against Australia, Intikhab Alam, the PCB director, announced today.

Pakistan was without a bowling coach since the former fast bowler Aaqib Javed resigned to be UAE's head coach after the series against England last year.

"After a lengthy deliberation we have decided to appoint Mohammad Akram as Pakistan bowling coach," Alam said. "Stuart Barnes [of] England was also shortlisted but unfortunately [Barnes] was not available immediately and we found Akram more suitable for the role."

Akram, who played nine Tests and 23 ODIs for Pakistan between 1995 and 2001, is settled in England and has represented Essex, Sussex, Surrey and Northamptonshire. He played 125 matches and picked up 415 wickets in his 15-year first-class career. However, he hadn't been involved with any of the first-class teams in England and Pakistan in a coaching capacity.

The appointment, therefore, didn't meet the criteria that were advertised for the position, requiring at least five years of experience with the elite cricketers at international level. Alam, however, said he was convinced that Akram's playing experience in county cricket and his engagement with universities in England as a consultant was enough to warrant his selection.

"He is a decent and experienced coach, and has good reputation," Alam said. "We have appointed him [for] a period of one year in which he will remain under our observation and if things go well with him, his contract will definitely be extended. The scope of the job isn't restricted to the national side but his services will be expanded to the academies and the regional level as well."

Akram, 37, was overshadowed by the presence of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis while playing for Pakistan. He had more success on the first-class circuit, but was charged with ball-tampering - a Level 2 breach of the ECB disciplinary code - during his Sussex stint in 2004 . He's been living in England since his last international appearance for Pakistan in 2001 and completed his last county deal with Surrey in 2007.

Akram hadn't expressed his interest in coaching until 2009, opting to do commentary instead. "It would be a good challenge for him to deliver and we can understand that he has the potential to take care of our bowlers," Alam said. "We are all with him and hope he will meet our expectations and produce results."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

yes i think this is not a bad decision from PCB... now also akram has a great chance to show his caliber & also growth the PAKISTANIi BOWLERS...

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (August 26, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

Those equating career statistics with an ability to coach are sadly mistaken. Half the international coaches around today are players who were barely county level and yet have excelled as international coaches. I'd rather they pick someone based on ability than mere name and past statistics.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

I think PCB has made the right decision. It is better to have an 'experienced student' of the game with the right attitude appointed rather than someone else who will bring in a dozen other problems. There are no secret mantras in bowling. Discipline, consistency and the right attitude are the main things. Akram can manage that with more sanity than the so called champion bowlers.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2012, 2:29 GMT)

when misbah was appointed as test captain. everyone was shocked because before his selection as captain he wasnt part of pak squad. now see where he lift test cricket of pakistan. yes great players may not have great coaching skills and see mushtaq ahmed. under his coaching england won 1st int title, a t20 wc 2010. b4 in PCB no one given value to mushtaq's coaching skills. playing mind is different then coaching mind. otherwise tendulkar must be a captain of india according to his average and experience then why dhoniii?????? so never judge specially coach and captain by their career because coaching and captaincy is totally a mind game and dont take this matter too serious because coaching not much effective on player's own talent. tell me under who's coaching imran wasim waqar saqlain delivered??? player also have his own mind so dont wry guys:) aalam was coach of pak in 92 wc so he knew better, who is more suitable. good luck akram.

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

I 100% agree with Lillian Thomson. Akram was never an impressive fast bowler, very limited talent and skills.Was hardly fifth or sixth choice in his time. Completely lacking expertise of in-swing, out swing,reverse swing, seam, off cutter,leg cutters, simply never utilized slow ball, his speed was never above 145 km. Considering all these facts, I am totally pointless how will he guide other fast bowlers these essential tricks. Actually I believe he himself can learn those skills from Gul and Co. And yes, If Muhammad Amir can be brought in again, Pakistan may overcome its only short coming" The lack of an aggressive, wicket taking fast bowler."

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

@ ProdigyA: I didn't know getting the better of Pakistan's batting had suddenly become a qualification. Even so, in the Asiacup at-least, you had Kohli to thank and not your bowlers. Anyway, I think facts are best. Cricinfo recently released an article about South Africa, that showed that since 2006, Pakistan has THE lowest test bowling average. As for the super over, if you mean that 2007 t20 world cup, yes, Shoaib Malik was rather stupid about it. He should have used wicket to wicket spinners instead of pacers, and he was grinning throughout, as if it were a joke.I agree that 5 wicket hauls are not strictly the best indicator of a good attack. It should be the average number of wickets taken in test matches.I think cricinfo did mention something about Pakistan having a very high tally there too, in some stats article. Another proof would be that bowling first in a test match is mostly an attacking decision for us on most pitches, whereas batting first is "attacking" for others.

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

every one have some opinion but in my opinion this man can not be a good bowling coach so try to agree some good and leader ship quality bowler thanks. sorry from akram

Posted by fkhawaja on (August 25, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

the problem with pakistan is that all the good coaches get better jobs and no one wants to come to pakistan. then with pakistani coaches we get these fights like waqar and afridi. shoab is too volatile to be a coach. aaquib wanted to be the head coach after doing bowling coach. only other pakistani bowler who has played a lot and not too old was mudassar nazar, sikandar bakht. i thought mudassar was into coaching . so all in all Akram is a decent choice out of what is available. pakistan should get wasim off and on as he is available for 3/4 weeks to be a consultant. or we should get a person like lille or thomson or mcgrath as short term consultants while on tour to help improve our fast bowlers.

Posted by   on (August 25, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

We are an emotional nation. Everything we say is emotional. Wasim Shoaib, Wasim Shoaib, Wasim Shoaib is the rant. Wasim Akram is not available full time, Shoaib is over blown as a bowler and has a record of defying authority, so he cannot be authority now. Mohammad Akram was a fair enough bowler and so was Aqib Javed. If we could have Aqib Javed, we can have M. Akram. Good luck and lets hope for the best In addition, properly qualified and foreign coaches cost money and with hardly any cricket happening in Pakistan, PCB may be had pressed financially.

Posted by sachin_saurav on (August 25, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

when i read the head lines that 'akram is new coach' i thought that it was THE GREAT WASIM AKRAM .but its not the case. its really saddening that inspite of producing so many bowling greats and so many wonderful strategic cricketers -PCB was contemplating for a foreign player,who wont even know urdu or the local conditios-they are working as commentators or something else. PCB must rope them in for the pak cric team.

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