August 21, 2011

In the wake of Waqar Younis’ resignation, former captain Wasim Akram feels health cannot be the only reason for his former teammate quitting as Pakistan coach.

Waqar Younis, who took over as head coach in March last year, called it quits on Saturday. Wasim Akram refused to be taken in by the excuse offered by his long-time teammate, who cited health grounds for his inability to continue. Akram is also baffled at the too frequent comings and goings in the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“Something is wrong within the Board. Nobody stays there for long. Either people are sacked or they move out of their own accord. It’s damaging to Pakistan cricket. Waqar was going a great job: he led the team to the World Cup semifinals and the team was overall improving,” Akram told Mobile ESPN in a telephonic chat from London on Saturday night.

“I know Waqar very well. He is a fighter. He does not give up easily. I am sure there is a big issue, otherwise he would not have thrown in the towel,” he added.

Akram also ruled himself out of the reckoning for the coaching job. “It is always a big honour to be associated with Pakistan cricket in any capacity. Unfortunately, I have too many commitments right now. And anyway, I do not think they will ask me to coach the team. I speak my mind and I don’t think the Board will be ok with someone like that. Waqar must have felt muzzled and that can be one big reason behind his resignation,” Akram said.

Akram said he has no personal agenda against the Board but something has to be done to ensure the smooth functioning in the Ijaz Butt-led body. The ESPN-STAR Sports commentator also took a dig at chief selector Mohsin Khan, who last week accused him of seditious remarks.

“I am not against anyone but I feel sad to see that things are going haywire in Pakistan cricket. We have a lot of talent. We just need to provide guidance to the youngsters. Unfortunately, that’s not happening and that’s makes me angry. I’m a proud Pakistani. Mohsin Bhai, I have a lot of respect for him. But he cannot stop me from speaking what I think. If something is going wrong in Pakistan cricket, I will raise my voice,” Akram said.

The 45-year-old former Pakistan skipper, Akram also welcomed the return of Shoaib Malik to international cricket. The PCB’s integrity committee gave Malik a clean chit on Friday on the case relating to the unaccountable money in his overseas accounts.

“It’s good news. He is a very good player. I hope he learns from his mistakes. He still has at least five years of cricket left in him,” concluded Akram.

Courtesy: ESPN STAR
Source: Akram: Waqar quitting is mysterious

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