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wasim akram, pakistan cricket, pakistan cricket board
Wasim Akram has worked with several Pakistani bowlers in the past. -File photo by AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan pace great Wasim Akram Tuesday promised to help groom a future generation of speedsters as his country looks to recapture former fast bowling glories.

Wasim was part of a long line of world-class Pakistani fast bowlers that began with Fazal Mahmood in the 1950s and featured the likes of Imran Khan, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.

But pace stocks have dwindled in recent years and Pakistan currently have no fast bowlers among the top 10 in either Test or one-day rankings.

Chief selector Iqbal Qasim last week expressed disappointment over the lack quality fast bowlers, a concern which Wasim hopes to help address by holding a two-week camp in April to unearth new talent.

Wasim, who is regarded as the best left-arm fast bowler ever to play at international level with 414 Test and 502 one-day wickets, said Pakistan need to improve their bench strength to excel in the long form of the game.

“I am sure talent is there but there is no plan B,” he said. “We don't have good bowlers for Tests which was proved in the series against South Africa where we lacked in that department.”

Pakistan were white-washed by world number one South Africa 3-0 last month in their recently concluded Test series. The hosts also hold a 2-1 lead in the ongoing five match one-day series.

Wasim added Pakistan's inability to make use of home-advantage, which allows players to excel, was a key factor holding back the development of youngsters.

“Not playing at home is the key factor in not producing quality players.Until and unless you don't play top quality teams at home it will be hard to find quality players,” he said.

Pakistan have not hosted top-level international cricket since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009, an event which prompted foreign teams to shun tours to the country over security fears.

Wasim said it was time for cricket authorities to take concerns over fast-bowling more seriously.

“The PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) needs to lift the first-class cricket and find some quality fast bowlers. Once I get 10-12 fast bowlers, I will work on them and they can be groomed to play at international level,” said Wasim.

The PCB is also trying to rope in Waqar Younis, with whom Wasim formed a fearsome partnership during the 1990s, for their national cricket academy in Lahore, built to groom young players.

With the emergence of Twenty20 cricket, the shortest form of the game, teams around the world have experimented with different bowling line-ups for each format. But Wasim said when it comes to pace bowling, one size should fit all.

“It's hard to find separate fast bowlers for three formats. I believe if a fast bowler is good enough for Tests, then he must be good for all formats and sustain himself for the limited over matches as well.”

Comments (23) Closed

Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Mar 19, 2013 02:43pm
I believe Wasim Akram should be the coach and then on the side we can have Inzimam as batting coach. Wasim was a very good captain and dont have word to praise his bowling skills
Salman Saifi Mar 19, 2013 03:04pm
We never heard any follow ups on sri lankan attack. wondering who did that. we must name names to make the nation understand its enemies.
Merchant Iqbal Mar 19, 2013 03:06pm
I think it is good take the services of Waqar and wasim to find real fast bowlers. I do not agree with Wasim that for fast bowlers one size fits for all formats. Reason for my disagreement is this is one of toughfest job in team. Success of fast bowlers depend on his fitness. Amount of cricketers playing now a days require rest. So we should work on three sides for three different formats. We should go for three captains. We show in our domestic cricket,success of Sialkot stallion in limited over cricket.Shoaib Malik lead his side well in last so many years.I suggest to name him T20 captain. Hafiz for ODI and Misbah should be for test.We should replace Younus and Misbah with aAsad Shafiq,Umer Akmal Nd Harris shohail for ODi.We have owais zia,Ali Waqas,Khurram Manzoor,Sarjeel khan,Ahmed shehzad, shazeb, Hassan,Imran Nazir,Khalid Latif for limited over matches. We should think of giving chance to Umer Amin,Akber. Khan,Anwar Ali and Hammad Azam for alrounders slot. Faisal Iqbal Fawad alam,Yaseer Hamid and toufique Omer should be prepared for test. Similarly we can give chances to different fast bowlers and spinners.Rotation policy should be adopted.this will give chance to upcoming deserving players and we will find replacement of our old players. Fielding and fitness should be consider along with batting and bowling abilities.
Saim Mar 19, 2013 04:11pm
Hire Inzimam as batting coach.
Afif Naeem Mar 19, 2013 04:15pm
Inzamam was a good batsmen, but he was a terrible captain. His approach as a captain was very defensive and conservative. No Thank you. Plus, with all the religious focus, he wont wanna be in the limelight himself.
laraibimtiaz Mar 19, 2013 05:20pm
The article doesn't talk about Mohd. Amir and Asif. Yes, they are not available for selection but it isnt fair to say that the country hasn't produced good quality fast bowlers after Shoaib Akhtar.
laraibimtiaz Mar 19, 2013 05:21pm
The article doesn't talk about Amir and Asif. Yes, they aren't available for selection but it wouldn't be fair to say that Pakistan hasn't produced quality fast bowlers after Shoaib Akhtar.
CricIsFake Mar 19, 2013 06:06pm
He can do wonders in an academy but I shudder at the prospect of him and Inzi in dressing room. Big NOOOOOO!
Capt C M Khan Mar 19, 2013 06:31pm
If Inzimam is coach then BYE BYE CRICKET...WELCOME TABLEEG.
shahid Mar 19, 2013 07:25pm
Faith needs pure heart not changing in physical appearnces.
Muhammad Bilal Mar 19, 2013 07:34pm
i agree with the tableegh part but to my surprise Inzi has some wonderful insights when i heard him on the TV.
Karachi Wala Mar 19, 2013 08:05pm
Wasim and Waqar teaching budding cricketers the fine arts of bowling fast, reverse swing, and tow crushing Yorkers is all cool and fine but what Pakistan needs most is to come up with batsmen with solid basic technique, temperament and mantle attitude to bat under all kind of environment, all sorts of pitches, all sort of opponents and in all formats of cricket. To achieve this, Pakistan need to hire top quality psychiatrists and batting coaches. I would prefer batting coaches from India and Australia. Rahul Dravid and Ricky Ponting would be my choice. Both are recently retired cricketers with contrasting personalities but most importantly have what it takes to be successful for the longest period of times consistently. For quite sometime now, Misbah and few other former Pakistan cricketers are pointing/complaining about no international cricket being played in Pakistan is the reason for Pakistan not being able to perform well. Let me start by saying, even when international cricket was being played in Pakistan, the standard of overall cricket had been in a decline for quite sometime. There are many reasons for the decline but that is for another day. What Pakistan needs is to decide what they want and what realistic goals to have. For the foreseeable future, there will be no top level international cricket in Pakistan, (gathering few retired cricketers or few unknown cricketers from overseas) is another thing. I personally believe Pakistan need to take a few years break from international cricket to sort out internal problems Pakistan has been facing at every level. But, I already know it will be very tough on the public that has very limited opportunities to take out their frustration from the grunts of daily life. If we still want to play international cricket, then forget about complaining, PCB needs to overhaul local cricket structure while keeping in mind there will be no international cricket for next 10 years. (I hope to be wrong). One thing should be very clear from the start no matter how talented a youngster seem, he has to be an out standing fielder and catcher as these qualities will go a long way while rebuilding Pakistan cricket. Good luck Pakistan cricket!
Shahid Mar 19, 2013 09:26pm
Wasim Akram should spend a couple of weeks with Irfan and Junaid
Irfan Mar 19, 2013 09:35pm
As long as he doesn't teach them about match fixing, its all good!
Atta ur Rehman Mar 19, 2013 11:24pm
Yes Wasim bowling and Inzimam as batting coach..
Imran Mar 20, 2013 01:04am
Inzi: Jonsa hai na...boys are working vary hard
naeem Mar 20, 2013 04:04am
i think Saeed Anwer is the better option over Inzimam. And for bowling, Wasim Akram obviously is The Choice.
Nadeem Mirza Mar 20, 2013 04:28am
At this time tableeg is needed for Pakistani batsmen and bowlers can use that too.
Pakistani Mar 20, 2013 07:15am
wat a limited thinking u have Mr C M,
amir Mar 20, 2013 09:10am
laraib i agree 100% with you
cameo Mar 20, 2013 11:56am
or may be he should. (teach what not to do)
Haroon Mar 20, 2013 12:14pm
who needs waseem and waqar when we have the greatest bowler that has ever graced cricket .. Muhammad Akram
david Mar 21, 2013 03:04am
we need to get rid off these oldies for i.e our team selector's Iqbal Qasim he played int. cricket some 30 years ago modern day cricket has completely changed,in coaching department bring in people the likes of Wasim,Inzi ,Rashid Latef etc. in selection department we need some fresh faces like Amir Sohail,or Rameez,Aqib Moin Khan and please a professional management team we lost the 2nd test in S Africa due to poor management and team selection we need to learn how to take full home field advantage all these things combined will produce success .