KARACHI: Pakistan cricket team’s bowling coach and former fast bowling legend Waqar Younis said on Monday that he knows his limits as bowling coach and is trying to focus on improving the skills of all young fast bowlers.
Talking to media persons during an online digital video session from Australia, Waqar said that Misbah ul Haq as head coach and chief selector deserves to hold the positions and powers of decision making and he is fully supporting Misbah in his endeavours to make the team a formidable unit.
“I know my limits as bowling coach. I give my inputs when I am asked to but Misbah has the final say. I joined the team as bowling coach to help young fast bowlers In a way it is good that I am away from the limelight which is helping me to concentrate with young fast bowlers.”
“After Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz decided to take a break from Test cricket, we had no choice but to give chance to the youngters,” said Waqar. “And despite failures in Australia to win the matches, we still had some positives from the tour which guided us to do well in home series later.”
Asked why the PCB does not make a policy to counter the selfish approach of some senior players who never want to give way to the younger lot by announcing timely retirements, Waqar said: “PCB should not be solely blamed for the late exits of so many players in the past. The players need to review their careers and erformances too to reach a decision. In my opinion Pakistan cricket needs to develop a culture where both board and players need to sit and decide about the players’ retirement plans.
Waqar urged all young fast bowlers in Pakistan to master the at of yorkers and work hard to develop their skills to bowl wicket taking balls. “Yorkers are still the best wicket taking weapon in all forms of cricket. However, cricket is now completely changed from the 1980s and 90s and innovative strokeplay to suit T20 cricket is often seen as ‘best type of cricket’.
“If you campare from our days, after emergence and popularity of T20 cricket now techniques and requirement of cricketers have changed. Bowlers are not bowling enough yorkers and they are focusing more to contain the runs and restrict the boundaries,” observed Waqar. “But in my opinion yorkers are still the best wicket taking weapon and i must say Shaheen Shah Afridi is a guy who is doing well in this regard as he is mixing yorkers well in his bowling.”
Commenting on the coronavirus pandemic that has completely put a stop to all activity in the cricketing world, Waqar said: “I wish and pray this situation soon comes to an end. My wife is also a doctor and i feel scared and worried when she goes to the hospital to treat patients. However, thankfully the situation in Australia is not as bad if you compare to other countries.”
“As a bowling coach yes the current scenario depresses me because there are no practicing opportunities for the bowlers to keep fit and develop their skills,” he said. “Surely, if the situation does not become normal by Ramazan it will be a major worry because such a long break will affect players’ rhythm and fitness.”
Waqar said in the past he always tried do well in the ICC events and if the World T20 is held in Australia as scheduled, he will be aiming to win the title by putting in his best with the young Pakistan pacers.
Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2020