October 27, 2011

Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, has offered his services to the PCB as a part-time bowling coach. Akram said he is ‘ready to work for Pakistan’, but would not be able to do it full-time because of family commitments.

“Coaching is a very demanding job,” Akram told reporters at Lahore airport. “It requires a 24/7 [twenty four hours, seven days a week commitment] that I cannot afford while my personal life is a little unsettled. I have two kids to look after. But if they want my services, I am ready to work, but only in my free time.”

In the past Akram has turned down the PCB‘s offers to coach, citing his responsibilities as a commentator. While he did state that he still doesn’t have much free time, he said that whenever he is in Pakistan, he could juggle his routine to have time to coach fast bowlers.

“I have emphasised before that while I am free in Pakistan, give me about 10 to 15 young fast bowlers to coach for a month and I am ready to work. We have outstanding facilities at the National Cricket Academy. Send them to Karachi or I can come to Lahore as well.”

When asked about the upcoming series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE, Akram said Sri Lanka are a good side but not good enough to beat Pakistan. He pointed out that the bowling attack has struggled without Muttiah Muralitharan, who was responsible for 40 per cent of the team’s wickets during his career.

“Sri Lanka is a good team but without Murali [Muralitharan] and [Lasith] Malinga they can’t bowl out Pakistan twice in Test cricket,” Akram said. “I don’t see Pakistan losing unless they play very bad cricket.

“Pakistan has experience as Younis [Khan], Misbah [ul Haq] are there in the line-up and another veteran (Shoaib) Malik is back in the side. So with all this, we can understand that the team isn’t lacking any talent. They just need support and need to play good cricket.”

Pakistan will play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 International in the three Emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, as Pakistan are currently unable to host international cricket amid security concerns since the attack on the Sri Lanka team in 2009. Given the situation, Akram said the PCB should create an alternative home country for the team.

“The idea is to play as much cricket as they can,” Akram said. “If teams aren’t heading to Pakistan, come up with an alternative hub and a system for Pakistan’s home series and give its team more cricket – that will help them to flourish.”

Correspondent: Umar Farooq

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