Pakistan news August 25, 2012

'Cricket is not played on laptops' - Mohammad Akram


Mohammad Akram, Pakistan's new bowling coach, has said his low-profile CV won't be a drawback as he had learnt a lot from his playing career and believed that "cricket is actually played on ground [and] not on laptops".

Having earlier been rejected after applying for the job, he managed to convince the coach-hunt committee to recruit him for a one-year deal. He played nine Tests and 23 ODIs for Pakistan between 1995 and 2001. Since his last first-class appearance in 2007, he has been involved in cricket through the Lashing cricket club and commentary. As a former Test cricketer based in England, he has been engaged with various colleges and universities as a consultant.

"I have played ample cricket, and learnt a lot from the ground and sitting out on the bench," Akram told ESPNcricinfo. "Cricket ultimately can't be played on laptops; it can only be played in ground, so talking a lot can't help if they want my services and I will do my best to make a difference.

"In my playing days I've worked with the likes of Graham Gooch, Steve Rixon, Javed Miandad and learnt a lot from their coaching techniques and strategies. I [have a lot missing] from my CV but I have something that others don't have - I am a Pakistani, have played cricket around the country from Rawalpindi to Bahawalpur and all over, understand the cricket, know the problems and what has to be done. I need a little time to adjust and 12 months is a lot of time."

Pakistan have been without a bowling coach since former fast bowler Aaqib Javed resigned to take over as UAE's head coach in March, and the PCB was expected to bring in a replacement of Aaqib's stature. A short-term deal was eventually struck with Akram, who takes charge from the Australia series in the UAE. "I didn't ask for a lengthy contract but let's see how this goes with both of us. I will obviously try to use my experience to train the boys and if things don't go well I will walk away.

I am a Pakistani, have played cricket around the country from Rawalpindi to Bahawalpur and all over, understand the cricket, know the problems and what has to be done
Pakistan's new bowling coach Mohammad Akram

"I have been following Pakistan cricket keenly for long, and understand we have always had talent. I have plenty to offer to them. Aaqib had done a great job to keep the chain moving and now my emphasis will be to strengthen the bench and ensure we have bowlers who are always ready to have a go.

"I don't think there is any need for a massive stir though things aren't all well with Umar Gul. He needs to return to his best quickly and I think I can make it happen as he needs confidence. I am not going to make it complex, it is always better to have it simple."

Akram is aware of the challenges the job brings but he remains optimistic. With three days left for the Australia series, Akram is ready to join the professional coaching staff headed by Dav Whatmore though he is yet to finish the formalities with the PCB which are expected to be completed in due course.

"The series will be a diagnostic series for me to observe and understand things. I am privileged to have Whatmore, who is a complete institution himself, in charge," said Akram, who debuted against Whatmore-coached Sri Lanka in 1995.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    does ODI experience counts for his to be coach or coaching is something different ....just give him a chance to prove otherwise he have to leave as he has declared

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    there is a huge difference between a player and a coach. for a coach it is not necessary to be a good player in past, if it is true then there wud b no better option to appoint javed miandad or inzimam for batting coach and waseem / waqar as a bowling coach.... coaching is all about using the modern techniques, reading the minds of the players, how u boost the confidence of the players etc. i have listened muhammad akram's view on tv, he has all the knowledge about the game, what we can do is wish best of luck to pakistani team and their bowling coach. using 2 new balls is creating problems for pakistan as ball is not reversing, this issue must b sort out and akram should look for a good new ball bowlers...

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    good humble and resposible looking personality! might his hard work bare fruits....

  • Nadeem on August 28, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    I wud agree to aqeel haider, i m sure his statistics were never so good being a bowler but that time the standards were set by legendary wasim akram and waqar younis, among these the young fast bowler's talent almost diminished. Anyways he got himself a chance to prove that not necessarily all gr8 players can only be good coaches. Over the period i am sure he must have learned a lot about cricket. So i wish u good luck Akram.

  • imran on August 28, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    "YOU CAN NOT TEACH WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW " & "YOU WILL NOT LEAD WHERE YOU WILL NOT GO" Mohammed Akram was a rubbish bowler him self . I remember him bowling about 7-10 wides in the first over of the game against India at Toronto. Poor Standards by PCB. I love cricket, I play on week ends with friends , Any coaching jobs for me PCB ?

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    i think he is the far better than aquib and useless waqar

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    24 odis to be a pakistani coach ? pakistan have some really low job requirements for coach.One of the worst decision i have ever came across

  • Munaf on August 27, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Nope not played on laptops. But a lot of statistics and strategies designed with laptop can help in finding weakness of opposition.Bob woolmer did that very effectively.

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    pcb have decided a bad decision pakistan cricket board have not considered wasim akram legend bowler of the world

  • Munaf on August 27, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    PCB sent the letter to the wrong Akrams address , I assume

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