‘New rules will hurt fast-bowlers’

Pakistan assistant coach Aaqib Javed urges focus on conventional swing, feels country has enough talent.

Umar Farooq July 12, 2011


Pakistan assistant coach Aaqib Javed admitted that the new rules being implemented in international cricket could frustrate bowlers, but the ongoing Fast-Track Coaching Programme is helping them shift their focus from reverse swing to conventional swing.

The International Cricket Council (ICC), with the aim of enhancing the 50-over format, has recommended restriction of the elective Powerplays between the 16th and 40th overs of each innings as well as use of two new balls – one from each end. This rule will come into effect from October 1, slimming chances of reverse swing.

“Bowlers have to focus on conventional swing,” Javed told reporters at the National Cricket Academy. “I think the overall advantage goes to the new-ball bowlers. However, in terms of reverse swing some pitches can alter the condition of the ball so as to aid bowlers at the death.

“That’s when they can take advantage and produce some reverse swing.”

‘Camp marking future players’

Javed explained that the camp was helping identify talented players for the future. He said that various bowlers were taking wickets regularly but were being closely supervised in order to determine their career prospects.

“There are various bowlers in our domestic circuit, who are taking wickets regularly. However, we have closely examined the potential in each of them.

“We are keeping an eye on their attitude, fitness, discipline and their approach. Through this method, we have realised that some of them are not fit to play international cricket.

“We are helping enhance their ability. These camps are not new for the boys – we have been giving them exposure for a long time with the help of experienced players. Wasim Akram used to be a part of this setup and we now have Sarfaraz Nawaz with us.

“The players share their experiences and knowledge so the youngsters may learn new techniques.”

‘Pakistan will survive in fast-bowling department’

Javed believes Pakistan have enough resources in the fast-bowling department, despite the retirement of Shoaib Akhtar. There are currently three bowlers – Mohammad Talha, Sohail Khan and Aizaz Cheema – who can bowl over 140 kilometres per hour and are in line to become good fast-bowlers.

“There’s immense potential in fast-bowling,” said Javed. “There must be two qualities in a bowler — have extraordinary pace and the ability to swing the ball. We have several bowlers such as Talha, Khan and Cheema who have the ability to keep Pakistan on top in the department.”

Javed, however, felt that proper nurturing should begin at the grass-root level and the players should play enough matches before stepping onto the international stage.

“These players should be given more experience in the domestic circuit.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2011.


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