Learning from the best: Akram to train Sri Lanka’s pacers

Legendary fast-bowler to mentor side ahead of tour of South Africa

APP December 01, 2016

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka said yesterday they have roped in legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram as a mentor ahead of the team’s gruelling tour of South Africa next month.

In what would be the first of a series of programmes involving foreign experts, Akram will conduct a day-long coaching clinic in Colombo today, revealed Sri Lanka Cricket.

“We are honoured that Akram has accepted our invitation to be a part of this initiative,” said Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala.

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Sumathipala also said the 2019 World Cup could be within Sri Lanka’s grasp if the team is given the right guidance. The Islanders won the World Cup in 1996 but choked twice in the finals of the 2007 and 2011 editions.

The latest coaching session comes as the victorious team returned home on Tuesday after beating Zimbabwe in a two-Test series in Harare and lifting a triangular tournament that also involved the West Indies.

Regarded as one of the best left-arm pacemen ever to grace the game, Akram took 414 Test wickets and claimed 502 scalps in 356 ODIs — both still a Pakistan record.

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Sri Lanka are set to tour South Africa for three Tests, three T20Is and five ODIs starting December 26, with national coach Graham Ford warning of a tough challenge against the formidable Proteas.

Sri Lanka, who also won a three-Test home series against Australia in August, are ranked seventh in Test ratings behind South Africa on fifth.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2016.

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