Despite an impression suggesting lack of quality fast-bowlers in Pakistan, former captain Wasim Akram said there were ‘no serious concerns’, but added that the available lot needed to adapt to the new rules that have been introduced in One-Day International cricket.
The legendary fast-bowler is currently supervising a 10-day long training camp set up for 18 pacemen at the National Stadium, Karachi.
His comments came after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Selector Iqbal Qasim stated that the country was facing a dearth of quality pacers — something that is unusual for the team. Pakistan have had the luxury of several tear-away fast-bowlers including the iconic Imran Khan, Akram, Waqar Younis, Aqib Javed and Shoaib Akhtar within the last three decades.
Akram insisted that experience and adaptation were the few things fast-bowlers needed to work on.
“I don’t think there is a serious concern about fast-bowlers,” Akram told reporters. “The talent’s there but these kids need experience and must learn to adapt to the demands of international cricket.”
The former left-arm paceman also urged the Pakistan bowlers to be aggressive in their approach, adding that the attitude of a fast-bowler was an important tool which is currently missing in the country’s bowlers.
“Aggression is an important aspect of the game. It is part and parcel of fast-bowling which our bowlers must learn,” he said, adding that a fast-bowler needed to get fired up after getting hit for a six.
The bowlers taking part in the training camp have been chosen from the national setup and the domestic and U19 levels. The list is headed by left-arm paceman Junaid Khan, Anwar Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Ziaul Haq, Mohammad Aftab, Rahat Ali, Sadaf Hussain, Hammad Azam, Ahmad Jamal, Asad Ali, Ehsan Adil, Muhammad Talha, Bilawal Bhatti, Imran Khan, Tabish Khan, Azizullah and Attaullah.
The first day of the camp started with a question-answer session between the legend and the participants at the regional cricket academy that lasted for more than 90 minutes.
Akram encouraged the bowlers to ask him questions, while also telling them to share problems they face with the old and new ball.
Akram further added that the bowlers needed to learn how to bowl on different tracks and conditions.
“The pitches and conditions are different everywhere so as a fast bowler one must know how to deal with this or what length to ball on.”
Akram said he will try to inculcate the best attributes into the next generation of fast bowlers.
“I am not a magician, but I will try my level best to help them in phases and hope that the same training camp is staged after a break of three to four months.”
Players ecstatic to work with Akram
Meanwhile, the participants were thrilled to be working with Akram.
“We have an institution right in front of us and we want to learn whatever we can during this camp,” one of the participants said.
National bowling coach Mohammad Akram, who has organised the camp, was also reportedly pleased with players getting help from the legend.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2013.
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