Wasim to look for the next Akram in fast-bowlers’ camp

Pakistan great joins up with PCB and LG for nationwide talent hunt

Our Correspondent July 15, 2015
Bowlers selected during the trials will travel to Karachi and join leading first-class bowlers for a 12-day camp with Wasim. PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

KARACHI: Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram is all set to head a fast-bowling camp in Pakistan from next month in collaboration with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and LG, where he would groom the future pace battery of the country.

The camp will be held at the National Stadium Karachi from August 1-12, and it would be the second time that Wasim will train the pacers in two years’ time. He last conducted such a camp of a similar nature in Karachi back in 2013 and most of the national fast-bowlers benefitted greatly from his tips.

“There is no shortage of fast-bowling talent in Pakistan and all they need is the right education,” said Wasim about the upcoming camp in a video message. “I’m coming to groom the future pacers of our country and to share what fast-bowling is all about. Nature has endowed Pakistani fast-bowlers with just the right amount of speed for this particular brand of bowling and I’ll try to enhance their capabilities.”

Wasim added that the art of fast-bowling has graced generations of Pakistani stars, starting from Imran Khan followed by the man himself, his new-ball partner Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz.

Interestingly, the former left-arm pacer forgot to mention the likes of Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Amir in the list.

Read: Manage young players instead of dropping them: Wasim Akram

He also made a special mention of Wahab for his extraordinary spell in the World Cup this year against Australia which almost took the life out of Shane Watson. “I remember the fiery spell of Wahab and I’m sure everyone who watched the game must have committed that match to their memory for a long time to come,” he stated.

Trials to kick start from July 23

In a bid to inspire young talent and solidify the country’s reputation for producing the best pacers in the world, the PCB, together with LG Electronics, announced the start of the LG Super Speed Star Campaign, a nationwide search for the best young bowlers in the country.

The campaign is set to officially get under way on July 23 with a series of trials taking place in five cities. Bowlers selected during the trials will travel to Karachi and join leading first-class bowlers for a 12-day camp with Wasim.

The LG Super Speed Star Campaign will run in two phases.

Phase one comprises a series of trials open to all bowlers. PCB-appointed coaches will be on hand to evaluate young candidates in Peshawar on July 23, Mirpur (July 27), Multan (July 29), Sukkur (July 30) and Quetta (July 30 and 31).

Read: We cannot keep away cricket from Pakistan: Wasim Akram

Thereafter, training sessions will be held in two sessions per day at the National Stadium Karachi and the National Cricket Academy in Karachi.  The camp carries a prize money of Rs300,000 to be divided among the top bowlers in the camp picked from phase one.

“This is an excellent opportunity for young pacers to come forward and learn from the best in the business,” said PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan. “Wasim has been a true inspiration for our youngsters and we are very excited about having him join our programme. I would also like to thank LG for partnering with us to promote cricket.”

Talking about the prospects of working with the nation’s young lot, Wasim remarked, “I look forward to working with the boys and I’m grateful to the PCB for arranging this camp. It gives me a chance to give something back to my country.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th,  2015.

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