Pakistan news

PCB grant Akram one-month extension

Umar Farooq

September 21, 2013

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Akram instructs one of his wards amid a magnificent backdrop, Karachi, April 26, 2013
Mohammad Akram has overseen the development of Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Mohammad Akram, the Pakistan bowling coach, has got a one-month extension that will allow him to carry out his job for the upcoming South Africa series in the UAE. His original one-year contract ended after the Zimbabwe series.

Moin Khan, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper, has also been named as manager for the tour. The recently concluded tour of Zimbabwe was his first assignment.

"We have extended his contract for another month," a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "It is a decision amid the ongoing caretaker setup, in which the board cannot appoint nor make a call to terminate anyone's services in the light of the Islamabad High Court order. So, Akram will join Pakistan's squad next month in the UAE for the South Africa series."

His services were acquired following the ouster of Aaqib Javed, who resigned to be UAE's head coach after the series against England in 2012. He has been with the national side since the limited-overs series against Australia in the UAE, and has so far covered five Tests, 25 ODIs and 16 T20Is. During his stint as bowling coach, he oversaw the international debuts of Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil and Asad Ali.

His influence on bowlers like Irfan and Junaid was quite evident when the duo dominated in the limited-overs series in India and, later on, during the South Africa tour.

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 hasn't been involved with any of the first-class teams in England and Pakistan in a coaching capacity.

"Working in Pakistan is a big challenge," Akram said earlier this year. "You have an extensive crop of fast bowlers around the country, but things aren't as fertile as it used to be. We, though, have a history of big names like Sarfaraz Nawaz, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, but they are past now and we have a new era here with completely different bowlers. The tone of the cricket itself has changed immensely.

"We have a nice decent bunch for international cricket and the future with them is entire[ly] secure. It's bit unfair comparing them to the previous great like Wasim-Waqar because you can't have th[at] sort of bowler back again. They were unique and expecting the current lot is not good. They [currently] are good bowlers, and with more international exposure, they can be great in the longer-run. I am working with all the new bunch on top. Even went down at the grass root level to [gain some] insight about the upcoming bowlers, and I am satisfied."

Akram also ran an extensive programme with the regional coaches of the country. "The idea was to let the region understand how important there role is to build a fast bowler at the grass-root[s]. We aren't running out of any stock, that is for sure. We are actually lacking in the development of the player. What we need to understand [is] that we have to built a solid foundation at the basic level so that once the player graduated up to the national level, he must be a ready-made bowler [for] the country."

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

pakistan team is divided into groups if they will play with unity definitly no one can beat them..............yes batting skill are very poor i think they should give chance to youngsters and keep the old experiencned batsmen in their side

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

bring back afridi as a captain coz hebis having that killer instict, kamran akmal should come in with abdul razzaq , then u seecthe results.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

@huhohuhohuho: Kamran Akmal is probably the best wicket keeper / batsman in Pakistan. I also recently saw an interview given by Rashid Latif which suggested Kamran's wicket keeping has improved. If you look at Kamran's batting record in tests it is not too bad. With regard to Afridi, I agree he is bit of a gamble but against top teams like SA and SR you need an experienced player like Afridi. His bowling and his intensity as a player could also lift the whole team. Wahab if given opportunities on a regular basis could become a very useful bowling all rounder. In modern day test cricket you need everyone to contribute with the bat including the bowlers. The other players you mention you mention are too inexperienced or I know very little about them as I do not follow Pakistan domestic cricket. The test team recommended by me is probably the best XI. However, whoever takes the field for Pakistan will have to play out of their skin to adequately compete against SA and SL.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

There is no need for a bowling coach in Pakistan team. Our fast & spin bowlers have natural talent which is nothing to do with coaching. Akram himself was a useless as bowler in Pak team how can he coach bowlers more talented than him. He was blue eyed of Zaka Ashraf and this management has not changed any thing.

Posted by sherishahmir on (September 23, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

Good comments by all and correct conclusion in the form of problem root cause is our is batting which needs to be addressed on priority by whatever way, if someone is consistently fail, chance should be given to other player.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

in recent past when waqar younis was pk team coach then team had gone from zero to hero as they qualified for WC semis and won World T20 tournament and pakistan country cricket profile was improved immensely as when he was there in that position instead of mohammad akran and rest however i think akram is doing ok but this position most deserving is for waqar younis the pak cricketing legend and i think this position "needs" waqar younis then the word "deserve" as pak cricket seems to be reaching ever low levels of cricket ever.As for batting side there are plenty of good players like Fawad Alam and Abdul Razzaq ignoring them makes perfect nonsense and including the likes of hafeez even after dozens of failure's just shows how bad this team management is!

Posted by   on (September 22, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Pakistan doesn't have problem with bowling they have problem with batting and that's a really big problem.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

@Jahanzeb Shabaz Hanafi: Remove Buchanan from good coaches list. He was just fortunate to coach a side filled with brilliant players. Give me a side with Warne, McGrath, Waughs, Ponting, Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, Bevan, Hussey, Clarke, Lee, Gillespie, Kasprowich, Macgill and I am sure I will as successfull a coach as John Buchanan.

Posted by Stark62 on (September 22, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

As far I can see, I don't think Akram has done a decent job at all because the bowlers keep bowling rubbish and Junaid doesn't know how to sing the ball anymore like he was doing in India, after being taught by Wasim.

In the recently concluded Zimb series, Rahat Ali kept on bowling short and if he did bowl full, then it was too full and the batsmen could drive the ball, hence he kept bowling short and wasted the new ball. I don't believe he was given the advice of bowling a good length and pitching the odd full or short.

Lastly, I don't think I have to give my opinion regarding Moin's position because the comments he made a few weeks back, are enough to sack him on the spot.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

@ Muhammad Maarij on (September 22, 2013, 2:10 GMT): It is not about records. look at recent performances. If you understand what i am saying then you will know it better. i am saying in response to some one else to move forward from these. And anybody who thinks that after making a mistake and promote hafeez as VC for such a long time, they will move to afridi. These both should be kicked in my opinion. 1 off innings in 10 isnt good. I think now you know who is dumb. Atleast talk some sense here.

Posted by huhohuhohuho on (September 22, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

@vaseem siddique y did u even mention the name of kamran akmal in the team we have had enough of him. Afridi cant play test cricket we need someone who can stay for long periods and afridi doesnot fit the profile. We need players like umar amin haris sohail sohaib maqsood mohammad rizwan and umar akmal. instead of wahab we should take ehsan adil who is a great prospect.

Posted by Chaudry_Cricket on (September 22, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

Akram as a coach has been o.k. He has devloped Junaid and Irfan. But he needs to teach our bowlers to be more aggresive. He should teach Irfan to use short ball as a surprise delivery. He needs to help Junaid get the ball to swing in more consistantly. But we need Waqar Younis as our bowling coach.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2013, 2:58 GMT)

most people here seem to think good bowlers will be better coaches that is not necessarily true infact its hardly ever the case look at all the successful coaches Woolmer, Buchanan, Ford, they were not necessarily the most talented players exceptions are John Wright who was average and Kristen who was indeed a very good batsmen but vast majority of them were not, as long as Akram is doing his job as a coach he should be presisted with ideally till 2015 WC.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

@khurram.. e u dumb or what ? look at afridi's record nd look at hafeez records hafeez looks like trash in front of afridi nd misbah. hafeez is the most selfish player i ever seen in the history of cricket.. nd idk how come he even get selected for national team

Posted by avmd on (September 22, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

Bringing back Younis would be a step backward. He is one bad series away from the situation when people calling for his head. Bringing back Afridi is not a serious idea for obvious reason. Misbah have to continue as test captain for a year ot so and then buy some more time Saeed Amjad can take responsibility. Meanwhile PCB has to groom another leader and he would be a a very young man who pobably has not a permanent test place. It could be Umar Akmal or even Ahmed Shehzad who deserves a test debut in place of Hafeez. Hafeez can lead ODI and T20 for 1-2 years.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2013, 21:49 GMT)

Actually I do not have a problem with Afridi playing in tests, he is worth the gamble and he is definitely lot better than Hafeez. However, I would not make him Captain of test team although he could be Captain of ODI and T20 teams. I would still have Misbah as Captain for tests but he needs to be proactive and by having a player like Afridi in the team he could encourage him to be more forthcoming. The selectors should also groom Azhar for the future by making him Vice Captain. Another player who should definitely be in test team is Umar Akmal. My test XI would be: 1. Jamshed, 2. Manzoor / Shehzad, 3. Younis, 4. Umar, 5. Misbah, 6. Afridi, 7. Kamran / Sarfraz, 8. Wahab, 9. Gul, 10. Ajmal, 11. Junaid. I would not have Irfan in the test team as I do not think he is fit enough and both his fielding and batting is not of the international standard.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

Akram has done an ok job so that is fine to have him as fast bowling coach if its not waqar, wasim & aaqib. Other than these no 1 comes to mind in last 15-20 years.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

You serious mate? Making Afridi or younas captain? and more importantly another comeback for afridi in tests? Then we may see another retirement in middle of series. The sooner we move forward from afridi, misbah, younas - the better.

In tests we need some captain after misbah. In t20 and odi, they have promoted hafeez long enough so it will be him. Afridi's on-off form is not good to be in.

And he is always ready to be a captain so not to take him serious in this regard

Posted by avmd on (September 21, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

If Wasim, Waqar and Aaqib javed are not available, Akram is not a bad choice and should be continued. Has done a decent job so far and no othere exciting alternative is available. He has an extensive knowledge of Pakistan's demestic cricket and the best person to help newer bowlers. He's right, we don;t have now huge amount of talent available to work with. He needs to work with Ehsan Adil in particlar. He is young but what I saw him while bowling in champion league, as pointed out Bishop, not using his hight properly by bending his fron leg at the time of delivery. Don't give up on Wahab also, he has pace and is still young. Work on his wrist position to bring the ball in for rt handed batsmen. Zia-ul-Haq is the most promising youn bowler needs guidance and is ready for International debut.

Posted by CM_Punk on (September 21, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

Here's what I think PCB should do, for the upcoming events. Firstly, make a Pakistani ex-cricketer your coach till the WC 2015, it could be anyone, Waqar Younis, Mohsin Khan etc.. etc... and, secondly, make Younus Khan your One Day and Test captain, or Afridi could be another choice, as he recently wished to lead the side for one more time (in Tests also, because he stated that he could come back for tests, also). So, if Afridi could be Pakistan's Test and ODI captain, he can also be their T20 captain, because Afridi and Hafeez are of the same age, and I don't think Hafeez is the best option for T20, and since Afridi has more experience, he's the best to lead Pakistan for all three formats till the WC 2015. Thirdly, bring young guns, just like how, with all due respect, MS Dhoni (my idol) brought. Bring young players, like Sohaib Maqsood (opener), Owais Zia, Usman Qadir, Umer Amin, Haris Sohail, Ehsan Adil, Hammad Azam, and Muhammad Rizwan (he's a batman and a WK just like MS Dhoni.)

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