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Bangladesh needs fast-bowling role models - Javed

Mustafizur Rahman celebrates AFP

Former Pakistan fast bowler Aaqib Javed has said that only Bangladeshi role models in fast bowling will help inspire the next generation of quicks in the country.

Aaqib, who is in Mirpur to conduct a specialised High Performance camp for fast bowlers, said that there had to be an Imran Khan-like knock-on effect in Bangladesh cricket to generate greater enthusiasm for the discipline.

"I think it is a lack of role models," Aaqib said. "For Bangladeshis, whatever picture or video you show them of a fast bowler, it won't inspire the youngsters unless you show them a Bangladeshi bowling at 145kph. But it has started to happen recently. Three of your guys have been showing youngsters that they can bowl fast. That confidence is there. And this is the beginning.

"[Back in Pakistan] we used to have only few fast bowlers but after Imran came up as a role model, we never looked back. After Rubel [Hossain], Taskin [Ahmed] and Mustafizur [Rahman], you will have many fast bowlers in the next few years. Your own role models."

Seventeen fast bowlers from the extended High Perfomance squad will participate in the first four days of the camp, while the next two days will be exclusively for the nine fast bowlers in the Bangladesh team.

Aaqib said that he focused on the keys to bowling on the first day. He added that while the camp's duration may not seem very long, he would track the progress of these bowlers in the coming months.

"I always believe in process, which means you can make a difference. In a week, you can transfer some knowledge but you can't actually move them into progression," he said. "Sometimes it is difficult to accept something that is not suitable, but I can transfer knowledge, give them a plan and, after three months, I can come and see what levels they have reached.

"Discussing with the local coaches also, my belief is that some key points should be told to the players while the details should remain with the coaches to discuss. I will try my best to transfer these to the boys. It would not make a difference if I am not around after 6-7 days, but they should know where they are headed."

Aaqib said that he wasn't keen on changing a bowler's action but was willing to add some value to it by introducing small changes like increasing momentum.

"I don't believe in changing bowlers' actions but I believe in adding something that helps them to bowl fast. Today we focused on speed. You should utilise your capacity. We focused on 1-2 km/h with their running speed, which is momentum, and 1-2 km/h from their front-foot force absorption and balance. And the third point is both your bowling arm and your non-bowling arm [must follow the principles of] pull-and-push theory, which can increase your speed by a further 1-2 km/h. The target is a 5-6 km/h pace increase," he said.

Aaqib also highlighted the need for bowlers to make themselves into "products" so that they are sought after in the market.

"Tomorrow [Monday] we will lead into mental skills and then end with tactics - when to attack, when to bowl variations and what are the variations, and what are the pillars that every bowler should have.

"We had a very interesting discussion with them about making a trade of yourself. When you are challenging as an international star, you must have something in you to show people, become a product which people can buy.

"Shoaib Akhtar had pace. Seam and accuracy like Glenn McGrath. And something like Mustafizur Rahman. Something unusual. You must create something that is sellable, which is your trade. I think six days is a long time to understand and make someone understand," said Aaqib.