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Wasim offers help to Pakistan quicks

Umar Farooq

April 5, 2013

Comments: 54 | Text size: A | A

Junaid Khan reacts after taking a wicket, South Africa v Pakistan, 4th ODI, Durban, March 21, 2013
Wasim will work with Pakistan's young bowlers like Junaid Khan © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: ICC Champions Trophy
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Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, has taken the reins of the country's fast-bowlers to help their progress. He and the PCB reached an agreement for a short-term fast-bowling camp in Karachi between April 20-29, ahead of the Champions Trophy.

Along with the camp, Wasim, with the collaboration of the PCB and a cellular company, will search for the fastest bowlers in the country. The search will be nationwide as the candidates will be selected from 8-10 cities over 5-7 days. Any bowler with a bowling speed of 140kph or more will be selected.

He will also work with Pakistan's full-time bowling coach Mohammad Akram in the national camp planned in Abbottabad, north of Islamabad, from May 3-9. "The idea is to sit and talk with the bowlers and give them confidence," Akram said. "I will assess the bowlers, find out their problems and help them to rectify them. A lot of young bowlers need some insight. I will then keep a track of them and follow them closely."

"I saw them in Test matches against South Africa they didn't impress me, but in one-day cricket they looked different and wicket taking bowlers. I have to teach them what is a good corridor, what is the right line and length. Regardless of any sort of pitches anywhere in the world, they have to be consistent in length, with yorkers, and know how to take wickets."

Akram, 46, who has been with Kolkata Knight Riders, the IPL champions, for the last three seasons, is currently in Pakistan on a two-month break. He rues the absence of Pakistan players in the IPL and believes it is a loss for the tournament. Pakistani players featured in the inaugural IPL in 2008 but India stalled all bilateral ties after the November 2008 Mumbai attack. Despite a short series between the countries in December and January, Pakistani players were not allowed to take part in the sixth edition of the IPL.

"Politics should stay away from sports, and we should play cricket," Akram added. "Our players should have gone to the IPL. I think batsman are scoring easy runs in the absence of Pakistani bowlers and our bowlers could be top wicket takers there. The psyche of Pakistan bowlers is strong, they are physical and mentally tough while Indian bowlers get spoiled within a year. They start with express pace from 140-plus but in a year go down around 130."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by dmqi on (April 9, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

@kiwiRocker. I have not heard or seen in the last 40 plus years I have been following cricket that Pak teams have won only with bowlers. Even when Imran, Wasim, Waker all played together, they lost many key matches as batsmen could not back them up at critical time against strong teams. In the recent SA series, Pak was in bad need of batsmen, not bowlers, that was my point. Pak cricket has always played politics in selection and your support is to that end probably. I want the batting weakness to be fixed too. Need change in batting line, plain and simple. And that make sense to all, I hope. Wasim's tips may help the bowlers a little but can that take top 6 SA or England wickets? I doubt.

Posted by Jason.Bourne on (April 8, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

The consistent 142-147 kph is a beauty which is no where to find soon in Pakistan. Quality is there with seam & swing but express pace has not been there since quite a time. We need someone super-fit like Muhammad Sami who can consistently touch 145kph with seam/swing. As currently all of our top-bowlers are in 130 case, he can be in limelight right away.

Posted by Match-winner on (April 8, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

@BBrianBlair - I think it's an unfair comment because unfortunately Zaheer Khan was the only consistent fast bowler of note that India produced, & fortunately or unfortunately, he has to play in most games (88 test matches if you are talking about Test cricket), so taking close to 300 wickets is no big deal. Pakistan on the other hand have by the grace of God produced many fast bowlers in the same time period, and counting just two, Shoaib Akhtar & Umar Gul, (mentioning them because they combined have featured in almost same number of tests during Zaheer's tenure), combined between them have almost 350 wickets (with better strike rates!). This is how you can compare fast bowlers from Pak & Ind - not like you have done in terms of wickets only! You have negated your own argument about Pakistan's approach towards fast bowling because W & W, and IK bowled express & got record number of wickets! So don't make Wasim's comments anti-India because they weren't! He just highlighted an aspect

Posted by I_m_AKS on (April 8, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

With all respect to the legend himself, Wasim Akram, I am disappointed with his comments here. How come an Indian domestic tournament have a loss without PK bowlers! I agree that PK players should play in IPL but that doesn't mean that only PK bowlers are the real match-winners. PK may have the upper-hand in bowling over IND but tell me other than Ajmal, who is not a seamer, there might be Gul & Junaid but who else is terrific enough to play in IPL? I am sorry but the franchises will never sign PK domestic bowlers over the INDs, as it's their own league. Such comments are not expected from a legend, who serves a lot in India.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (April 8, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

A great effort from swing king Wasim Akram. PAK is full of talented players, and always produce a lot worldclass fast bowlers for the cricket world. PAK current team really needed great fast bowlers similar to 2-Ws.

Posted by getsetgopk on (April 8, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

@Haleos: First of all, Wasim Akram is a Pakistani, if someone asks him his opinion, he has to answer it, and his answer was nothing but the fact. He is a living legend, money aside, you should be lucky that being a Pakistani he's agreed to come to India and coach your kids and should be grateful for his every advice rather than thinking that since you pay him for his services you own him altogether. Wasim if he wants, can get a coaching or whatever job in any country, Auss, NZ, SA, PK any nation would jump leaps in happiness if they can get Wasim as a coach. BUT, if you still have issues then nobody forced you to hire Wasim, why can't India find a Wasim out of 1.5 billion people?

Posted by BBrianBlair on (April 7, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

'' The psyche of Pakistan bowlers is strong, they are physical and mentally tough while Indian bowlers get spoiled within a year. They start with express pace from 140-plus but in a year go down around 130."

Now this is the mentality that hurts pak most. Their obsession with speed guns' reading overtakes their focus on consistency and line & length. When Wasim and Waqar retired we all thought Shoaib and Sami would lead Pakistan into the next era of success. Where is Shoaib now ? What happened to Sami ? They are prime examples of talents being wasted for short term glory of being the ''fastest'' in the world while they keep giving away so many runs. Wasim should remember Pak's World cup '03 league match against Eng when Shoaib bowled the fastest ball ever but also went for 63 runs in 9 overs and Pak lost. Wasim should remember that no Pak pacer has taken 200 test wickets since W n' W retired, while Zaheer the bowler who's often billed average by Pak experts has taken close to 300.

Posted by Haleos on (April 7, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

As soon as he gets there he starts talking against IPL. IPL team owners have no national pride providing opputunity to earn to such people. Fyi wasim - Ur famed bowlers can also b trashed once in a while so stay There n see how much u can earn. U might loose Ur chance to earn in India.

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