Pakistan news August 25, 2012

'Cricket is not played on laptops' - Mohammad Akram

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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

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY 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...

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2012, 8:22 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY gulzee 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.

  • POSTED BY imranusaf 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 ?

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2012, 21:57 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY MunafAhmed811 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.

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY MunafAhmed811 on | August 27, 2012, 15:50 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY 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...

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2012, 8:22 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY gulzee 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.

  • POSTED BY imranusaf 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 ?

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2012, 21:57 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY MunafAhmed811 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.

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY MunafAhmed811 on | August 27, 2012, 15:50 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY drnaveed on | August 27, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    he has just 01 year to prove his worth, so lets see what he does .definitely , cricket is not played on laptops, and keep in mind that a coach has a limited role to play , after all it is the players who have to deliver on the ground.best of luck to mohammad akram. waseem akram is a busy man, he has more time for the indian side,they are happy with him. whereas waqar younus just ran away from this job of coaching.

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | August 27, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    Wouldh have loved to see Shoaib as the coach and the sight of him running behind the bolwer with a bat every time the bolwer bolwed a bad delivery. Hilarous.

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Mohammad Akram himself was anything but a good fast bowler. I hope he is good as a bowling coach though.

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    I wud think Waseem was better option, however I wud have personally gone with Mohammed Akram over Waqar younis. No doubt Waqar was a great talent, but knowing and teaching are two different things. Not all PHD's are great Instructors, Some fellows with Associates turn out to be better teacher than rest.

    Best of Luck Akram.

  • POSTED BY MattyP1979 on | August 27, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    Wish team Pak well. If Pak could sort out the politics behind the scenes they would be a very decent side in all formats. On their day PAk are nearly unbeatable. To be fair they should wipe the floor with this frankly avg Aus side. As for the new coach, he shouldn't have a problem finding a way to get 10 Aus wickets, their batting is as thin as their olympics medal haul.

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    a poor decision by PCB yet again

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    I think that given the circumstances he is the best choice. Shoaib Akhtar would never have been a good choice, keeping in view his own performance, malingering and attitude, despite what the Shoaib lobby may say. How could he ask for discipline when he himself was indisciplined ( rememeber when he pushed Woolmer) and how could he ask for contionuous performances, when he himself performed in one match and took the next two out because of some reason or another. I remember M. Akram as a good bowler and a mature and serious person. I hope and pray that he does good for Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY azhar_hassan on | August 27, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    This is not a criticism of Mohammad Akram, I hope he does well for the Pakistan team - but what is the selection process? I thought they wanted a qualified coach. They'd turned down other good bowlers for the bowling coach position because they did not have coaching certifications/experience (Shoaib Akhtar for example). Now Akram is saying that he will rely on his experience of playing. Well there are a few others with more playing experience - why not consider them?

  • POSTED BY on | August 27, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    I have seen Akram since 90's when he used to walk run/walk the way form his home in Rawalpindi to KRL Cricket Ground for practise. He made his debute against Sri Lanka and Ranatunga was the captain. He knows the condition of grass root level cricket in Pakistan and how to nurture young talent, as he did to himself.

    All the Best Akram!

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    I would have preferred Wasim Akram or Waqr Younis, however, A Pakistani Coach to train bowlers is better than a foreign coach.

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    He is a literate person well aware of playing conditions allover the world and can buildup a good pace attack in Pakistan team as he has the hunger to prove his worth so he will definatly try his ultimate.Its not a rule of thumb that only great bowlers can become great coaches,,,Wattmore himself is an example

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    time will tell,lets see if he does what he says he can do.

  • POSTED BY Big_Chikka on | August 26, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    congratulations to muhammed akram, a good professional and a cv that is good enough.....................probably a cv that is more honest than most (mine included)!

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    waoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • POSTED BY nix_moviefreak on | August 26, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    @Hasan Cheema completely agree with you mate.. nyways players with not-so-successful careers can be great coach eg. Dev Whatmore Best wishes for Mr. Mohammad Akram.. from India

  • POSTED BY shahnoor-haque on | August 26, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    Well.one must support our team.M.Akram has got plenty of experience.So,i think that he would deliver.He was the good choice.

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    Not necessary a good player can always be a good coach e.g Miandad. Mostly I've seens players who are not well known during their time, turn out to be exceptiional coaches. I think M.Akram will do well IA. He also has exposure to consulting teams outside his country, which will be an added advantage. Plus he has done some certified trainings as well. So lets see. 1 year is a small time to pass. goodluck to him

  • POSTED BY Nicholas94 on | August 26, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar would have been a better decision than Mohammad Akram , however, I do wish him the best of luck and hope Pakistan can produce more wonderful swing bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    @ Zahidsaltin "" He was second rated bowler"" In the presence of Wasim and Waqar who could ever be first rated bowler???? I am sure he was quite a genuine fast bowler, I still remember the way he bowled out Waugh Twins on Pakistan's 99 tour there.. I wish all the best to Akram and Pakistani team

  • POSTED BY on | August 26, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    Well..he is very right and I am sure he has lot more to deliver what he has in his pocket.he was known well when he played for Pakistan and yes in the presence of two Ws no one was allowed to perform..I am sure every one has the idea about it. But it's a good move that pcb has started looking for other options instead of keeping same bunch for decades.

  • POSTED BY praveen4honestremark on | August 26, 2012, 0:22 GMT

    I really feel this guy Akram is straight forward in talk and very keen to improve Pakistan cricket. Dedication is there. He learnt many things from around the world on coaching, so he has experience. So he all in him, just need to see how he implements.To be Positive about him- It's a fact that many persons with Dedication and experience succeeded. I wish him success as a coach.- Indian fan

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin - Not sure coaching works that way...as long as the student teacher relationship has enough mutual respect, a lot can be learnt...even the best in business have coaches they revere, who might not have been best players in their time but make good coaches...e.g. Tendular and coach Achrekar, Spanish football team and manager Vincente Del Bosque...I don't think Umar Gul needs anyone to teach him what works at this level..what he needs is someone who can recognize what might be going wrong with the execution and that requires someone with technical knowledge and a keen eye!

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | August 25, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    @ Zahidsaltin - I disagree. He might have been bowled in shadows of Wasim, Waqar but it's word among cricketing circles that M. Akram possesses great deal of knowledge. Not all great players make great coaches and likewise not all average players made bad coaches. Bowling is all about confidence and that's it.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | August 25, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    I very much doubt that hiring Akram is a good decision. He was a second rated bowler and is not a renownd coach either .. at best he's a bit of both. What would he learn Gul who at least is a better bowler than him.

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    hope for the best i am sure that m akram will prove fruitfull as a bowling coach

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    m akram who but his interview seems interestimng and positive lets support him and the team dont have many expectations as our batting is brititle???

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | August 25, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    @Shahid Naqvi, the problem is that these countries offer very lucrative pay something the PCB cant do, so they go where the money is. They also distance themselves from the politics of the PCB.... I hope M. Akram is a success.

  • POSTED BY avmd on | August 25, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    There is life and cricket beyond Wasim and Waqar. With both of them and Aaqib not available, Akram is a very good choice. "Haji" is a an easy going person with good communication skill, has a vast knowledge of Pakistan and international cricket, deservse a run and I'm sure will do a good job. There is not a big age gap between him and Pak players, I'm sure they will feel very comfortable in exchanging ideas with him. As he is not as famous and galmorous as Was and Waq, will make his job only easier by traveling to differenr cricket centers and find out the new talent as PCB is wiling to give him a bigber role, beyond coaching the national side.

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    obviously mohammad akram has never discovered stick cricket in his spare time.

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    I am not surprised by PCB as they did not have many options. It happens when the best bowlers of pakistan are not available to coach in pakistan. They prefer other countries such as wasim akram interested in coaching indian new bowlers. For example look at indian bowling pre wasim;s coaching. Wasim worked with pathan, zaheer and nehra on their swing techniques. It;s so pathetic for him to do it outside of the country and not willing to coach inaide pakistan. I was surprised for him to say he is ready to coach young talent however PCB will have to work with him on his schedule. I also wonder how much money a person needs in his life. We can only eat whats written for us and we can only live for a limited amoutn of time. Why cant we forget about our egos while serving our own country. Wasim and waqat should think again and again on their decision. I wish they could read this comment

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    Only time gonna tell that his selection as a coach is right or wrong. I have my reservations but anyways I will be more then happy to see myself wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    It's rather interesting how people change their opinions after reading an interview.

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | August 25, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    he is a good lad and breathes cricket. just the sort of bloke to guide the bowlers as a sounding board

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    M. Akram will be without any big egos, which should help him get along with all the players. Also, it's not necessary that a coach has to be a great player in order to be successful. Whatmore, was not successful as a player but he did wonders with the SL and various other teams. So, be patient and support the team. Cheers.

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  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    M. Akram will be without any big egos, which should help him get along with all the players. Also, it's not necessary that a coach has to be a great player in order to be successful. Whatmore, was not successful as a player but he did wonders with the SL and various other teams. So, be patient and support the team. Cheers.

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | August 25, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    he is a good lad and breathes cricket. just the sort of bloke to guide the bowlers as a sounding board

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    It's rather interesting how people change their opinions after reading an interview.

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    Only time gonna tell that his selection as a coach is right or wrong. I have my reservations but anyways I will be more then happy to see myself wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    I am not surprised by PCB as they did not have many options. It happens when the best bowlers of pakistan are not available to coach in pakistan. They prefer other countries such as wasim akram interested in coaching indian new bowlers. For example look at indian bowling pre wasim;s coaching. Wasim worked with pathan, zaheer and nehra on their swing techniques. It;s so pathetic for him to do it outside of the country and not willing to coach inaide pakistan. I was surprised for him to say he is ready to coach young talent however PCB will have to work with him on his schedule. I also wonder how much money a person needs in his life. We can only eat whats written for us and we can only live for a limited amoutn of time. Why cant we forget about our egos while serving our own country. Wasim and waqat should think again and again on their decision. I wish they could read this comment

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    obviously mohammad akram has never discovered stick cricket in his spare time.

  • POSTED BY avmd on | August 25, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    There is life and cricket beyond Wasim and Waqar. With both of them and Aaqib not available, Akram is a very good choice. "Haji" is a an easy going person with good communication skill, has a vast knowledge of Pakistan and international cricket, deservse a run and I'm sure will do a good job. There is not a big age gap between him and Pak players, I'm sure they will feel very comfortable in exchanging ideas with him. As he is not as famous and galmorous as Was and Waq, will make his job only easier by traveling to differenr cricket centers and find out the new talent as PCB is wiling to give him a bigber role, beyond coaching the national side.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | August 25, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    @Shahid Naqvi, the problem is that these countries offer very lucrative pay something the PCB cant do, so they go where the money is. They also distance themselves from the politics of the PCB.... I hope M. Akram is a success.

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    m akram who but his interview seems interestimng and positive lets support him and the team dont have many expectations as our batting is brititle???

  • POSTED BY on | August 25, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    hope for the best i am sure that m akram will prove fruitfull as a bowling coach