Following months of deliberations and multiple postponements, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finally named former fast-bowler Mohammad Akram as the national side’s bowling coach, replacing Aqib Javed who left to take up the head coach’s position with the UAE national squad earlier this year.
Akram, who played nine Tests and 23 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan, and Stuart Barnes were the two shortlisted candidates from the list of applicants that showed an interest in the position.
However, the coach-hunt committee chief Intikhab Alam confirmed the appointment, adding that Akram will join the national squad in the UAE ahead of the first ODI against Australia.
Few things still need to be sorted: Akram
However, Akram told The Express Tribune late last night that discussions were still ongoing and there were ‘three to four’ issues that needed to be sorted out, including his joining date.
Intikhab, however, was at a loss when questioned about the ‘issues’ and confirmed that the former fast-bowler was all set to land in Dubai on Saturday.
“We had several big name applicants but Akram has been signed on a one-year contract after a lengthy discussion,” said the former coach and manager.
“He’s a talented individual and has coaching experience which is useful. He will join the squad in the UAE on Saturday.”
Change of mind at the PCB
The appointment comes just weeks after the PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf confirmed the hunt has been put on hold as no ‘quality’ application had been received by the board.
However, on Thursday, Zaka announced that the appointment was to be made ‘shortly’ after a change of heart.
Akram, as learnt by The Express Tribune, was initially offered an administration position at the NCA in Lahore and not the bowling coach’s seat.
The former fast-bowler, who took 19 Test and 17 ODI wickets, had refused that earlier offer, insisting he needed an ‘on-field position’ and he looked to ‘pass on the skills to the new bowlers’.
“We have to take into consideration the monetary issues as well as how suitable the candidate is to work with Pakistan cricket. He will be given a multitasking role and not just be restricted to the national team.”
“The other options we were looking at were not available as their schedule and plans clashed with what the PCB wanted. So we couldn’t get a level-IV coach which is why we appointed Akram who does have the ability to do well.”
“People should ask Intikhab how Akram fulfils the criteria. Once again, appointments have been influenced and personal favours have been made. Akram can’t even make his point if there’s a gathering of highly qualified coaches.”
“We had several big name applicants but I can confirm that Akram has been signed on a one-year contract. He’s a talented individual and has coaching experience. He will join the squad in the UAE today.”
and since we couldn’t get a level-IV coach, we had to appoint Akram,” said Zaheer before adding that the former fast-bowler has the ability to do well.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2012.
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