Pakistan news April 20, 2013

'I'm not a magician' - Akram

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Wasim Akram has said he will encourage Pakistan's latest breed of fast bowlers to adopt an aggressive approach in order to be successful but he can't magically bring rewards.

Akram, a former captain, has started working with the country's quicks after coming to a short-term agreement with the PCB. He commenced a 10-day training camp at the National Stadium in Karachi for 18 of Pakistan's top fast bowlers, including members of the national team and some new, raw talent.

The camp was set up ahead of the Champions Trophy in June in England and Akram said that the change to regulations in one-day cricket were tough for bowlers.

"You need to be aggressive and learn how to adapt to these rule changes. Pakistani bowlers have a lot of talent but they need to learn and adapt to the demands of international cricket.

"With the change in ODI cricket, that you can't keep more than four fielders outside the circle in a 50-over match at any time, and the rising popularity of T20 cricket means pace bowlers now need to be more adaptable.

"I will advise these bowlers that to be successful in this scenario, aggression is a must with top grade fitness, pace and the ability to have length variation. T20 cricket has changed the mentality of batsmen. The odds are stacked against the bowlers. First I will tell them how to swing the ball, then reverse swing and how to make use of the yorkers.

"I am not a magician able to work wonders in ten days but I will try my level best to help them in phases and hope that the same training camp is staged after a break of three to four months," he added. "I will be there in the camp and then at the Champions Trophy so will do my best to help them to learn and mature."

Prior to the Champions Trophy, Pakistan will tour Scotland and Ireland to play a two-match ODI series each. After the South Africa tour which ended in March there is feeling prevailing around the country that Pakistan's pace-bowling resources are declining but Akram is not too concerned about the future."

"I don't think it's a serious concern. The talent is definitely there but these kids need experience and must learn to adapt to the demands of international cricket where they are found wanting," he said."It's not easy to found someone with 145kph pace, you need to do scouting and hunting for fast bowlers and I am sure there will be talent.

"The grounds in South Africa were green but you need a certain strategy to bowl, so until and unless they learn it they will not be able to turn their potential into performances."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ABLcric on April 26, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    i agree with dontlikecricket. Speed is not everything. Since, Pakistan team has produced real fast bowlers in the past, we are now 'obsessed' to get few real pacers. I strongly feel that the use of mind and ability for good judgement are other key factors which our young fast bowlers should learn (who's gonna do that?). Bowlers like Imran, Wasim, Waqar, Sarfraz and Fazal were using their brains and thinking and discussing the technical flaws in the batsmen on the crease and how to bowl at them. The role of Academy is to provide such training that allows and promotes our bowler to think and bowl. Not just throw the ball at the batsmen without any sense and direction. When a fast bowlers starts thinking, then pace becomes an added value.

  • dummy4fb on April 25, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Despr8ly waiting for the one who will replace gul :)

  • dummy4fb on April 22, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    pakistan team needs to get rid of overhyped and over rated players like afridi, kamran yunis and try to give chance to some fresh lads. pakistan team also needs to arrange matches somewhere outside FTP, as we all know ICC its FTP has become a whipping goat

  • hellothereeveryone on April 22, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    These indeed are dark times for pak cricket. Such initiatives will be helpful to revive it. If they come anywhere close to what they were in their glory days of 80s and 90s they will be a really tough team to beat and world cricket will be much more fun as most of pak players are so talented they are fun to watch.

  • Pathiyal on April 22, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Pak bowling right now needs a facelift and who else can do the job better than the maestro himself? Wasim Akram - the right man at the right place!!!

  • Alexk400 on April 22, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    There is two thing.1. Skill. 2. Management (play within your strengths). Akram had too much skill and he was able to show off even if he did n't manage well. But in general policy you need both. Pakistan bowlers are naturally talented. Only they need is how to manage the resources.

  • riz309 on April 21, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    @NixNixon your comment is laughable if 1 or 2 out of 100 said so that doe'snt mean that the whole lot said so about Pakistan bowler's, everyone with the slightest knowledge of International cricket know's that the current lot of Pakistan bowler's are no where near Styen & Co and besides since S. Akther and B.Lee are retired D.Styen has made a name bring M.Aamir back today and watch he's gonna blow Styen back in the shadows

  • dontlikecricket on April 21, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    PAK fans are obsessive about pace. Its no good if a bowler can bowl above 140 but has no control. Sami is good example. On the other hand someone bowling in 130's with good control can cause more damage.Examples are Philander, M. Asif and even Akram rarely use to bowl over 140. So so called cricket experts need to think beyond speed. Swing and control are the best weapons. PAK have talented bowlers like Junaid and Irfan. They both will improve with time and need to play regular international cricket. Amir will also be back in couple of years. There are some good fast bowlers in PAK. Camps like this are good for new bowlers and hopefully they will learn from the legend.

  • an_alcoholic on April 21, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Oh sure you are sir....you have showed it throughout your carrier....a sheer magician of swing...with the new ball and with the old....in fast pitch and in slower one....in pressure and in adverse....pakistani were really lucky to have you then and are lucky to have you now with all those things you are doing.....i have witnessed a huge cheer and support for you in RANCHI in ind vs eng encounter that shows what a great fan following you have earned...hats off to the KING OF SWING

  • NixNixon on April 21, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    This is extremely funny, that Pakistan is looking for fast bowlers, as before the SA vS PAK test series, Paksitan fans were saying that Gul is better than steyn, junaid khan is better than philander and irfan is better than morkel. If they are better then why look for new bowlers, hilarious!