The officials from the Saudi Cricket Centre; Mr. Nadeem Nadwi, Sadiqul Islam, Sameer Nidal Khan, Hamid Rana and MoneyGram official Mr. John Clayman welcoming Wasim Akram.
The officials from the Saudi Cricket Centre; Mr. Nadeem Nadwi, Sadiqul Islam, Sameer Nidal Khan, Hamid Rana and MoneyGram official Mr. John Clayman welcoming Wasim Akram.
After their five-wicket defeat against Pune Warriors, Delhi finished last for the second time in three years. Sehwag horrible batting form has bewildered the game’s pundits.
In a scathing attack on his inconsistent batting form during the Indian Premier League, former Pakistan Test captain Wasim Akram has called Virender Sehwag a “No. 11 batsman.” This is probably the worst compliment Sehwag has ever got in his career.
A former Kolkata Knight Riders bowling consultant, Akram has always been a Sehwag fan. At a time when selectors gave the former Indian Test batsman the cold shoulder, the Pakistani legend has always stood by Sehwag.
“He is one innings away from striking good form,” Akram would always say. But to label him a “No. 11 batsman” only shows Akram’s frustration at Sehwag’s consistent failures for Delhi Daredevils.
On Sunday against Pune, Sehwag once again made a bright start and then lost his way. His 10-ball 11 (two fours) has been typical of him in the IPL. Batting at No. 4 and at a stage when Delhi had lost David Warner and Mahela Jayawardene cheaply, Sehwag once again refused to show the responsibility expected of him. Is it just his lack of focus and interest after being booted out of the Indian team?
Akram says in his newspaper column: “His fitness and his hand-eye coordination are not the same anymore and he looks like a No. 11 batsman. He is not even a pale shadow of the Sehwag we all know.”
But for an unbeaten 95 against Mumbai Indians, Sehwag has been conspicuous by his failures. He scored 295 runs in 13 matches at an average of 24.58. Sehwag had a healthy strike rate of 126.60 but it did not help Delhi’s cause. Viv Richards batting tips – mix his game and take responsibility – definitely didn’t make an impression on Sehwag.
Courtesy: NDTV INDIA
London: New Zealand’s Trent Boult hopes to succeed where cricket hero Wasim Akram failed by getting his name on the Lord’s honours board during this week’s first Test against England.
Left-arm seamer Boult proved a thorn in England’s side with six wickets in the drawn third Test at Auckland in March where the tourists hung on to claim a draw with just one wicket standing as a thee-match series ended all square at 0-0.
Pakistan great Akram was the pre-eminent left-arm fast bowler of his generation, and arguably the best of all-time.
Yet for all the occasions he was too hot to handle for England’s batsmen with his blend of reverse swing and pure pace, he never managed the five-wicket innings haul, or 10 wickets in a Test, that would have put his name on the Lord’s honours board.
“Idolising Wasim Akram and what he did, it has always been with me that I want to be a swing bowler,” Boult told reporters at Lord’s on Tuesday.
“That’s what started me off. It doesn’t get much better than him, in regards to world-class bowlers and left-arm bowlers around the world. I watched a lot of him growing up. I didn’t really mould myself on what he does but I like how he moves the ball and bowled at a pretty good clip.”
“He was the master of a lot of things. Obviously conditions where he came from suited reverse-swing, but he could still move the ball conventionally.” In New Zealand, England captain and key opening batsman Alastair Cook fell four times to either Boult or his fellow left-armer Neil Wagner.
“There is no doubt Cook is a world-class player, but I personally enjoy bowling to left-handed batsmen,” Boult added.
“I’m not going to say I’m going to try and target him – but if we as a bowling group deliver our plans to him, we could be pretty successful. If the ball does tend to swing I feel like I’m always in the game to left-handed batsman. If ‘overheads’ are right it suits our bowling group.”
Courtesy: IBN LIVE
Miandad has spent hours helping the batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umar Amin while Akram has been training the likes of Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Ehsan Adil, Asad Ali and Wahab Riaz.
Pakistan’s former captains Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram are hopeful that the national team can win the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England.
The PCB has asked Miandad to assist the batsmen in the national training camp underway in Abbotabad while Akram is also there to work with the pace bowlers.
Both the greats have spent hours working with the players since reaching Abbotabad two days back.
According to details, Miandad, in particular, has spent hours helping the batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umar Amin while Akram has been training the likes of Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Ehsan Adil, Asad Ali and Wahab Riaz.
Even as the two greats worked with the players, head coach, Dav Whatmore and bowling coach, Mohammad Akram preferred to take a back seat and let them work independently.
“I always say before a major tournament that given the talent we have Pakistan is always among the favourites to win the title,” Akram told reporters in Abbotabad.
“Like Brazil in football we are blessed with a lot of natural talent. I believe that Pakistan has always had this ability of beating any team on its day. I am also confident about our team’s chances in this Champions Trophy,” he said.
Akram said that if the batsmen were able to post enough runs on the board, the bowling attack was capable of bundling out any side in the tournament.
“It will be a tough tournament but I am backing Pakistan because at this time of the year and over the years the pitches at most venues in England have flattened and our batsmen can score a lot of runs. If they do that our bowlers have the ability to win matches,” he said.
He pointed out that despite the absence of experienced pacer, Umar Gul the team was blessed with enough pace and spin talent and could upset any batting line-up. Miandad advised the batsmen to go to England without any pressure.
“I have told them go and play in the Champions Trophy like they would in any other event. If you take the pressure of a big tournament and keep thinking, it does affect your performances,” Miandad said.
He said the Champions Trophy would be a close event because all the participating teams were playing well.
“Pakistan, India, England, South Africa and the West Indies are all balanced outfits and it will boil down to how a team plays on a particular day. There is little to separate the teams which have their own set of strengths and weaknesses,” he said.
Courtesy: NDTV Sports
All these years after he retired, we’re still seeing his legacy play out in Pakistan cricket.
If you’re a pace bowler aspiring to make it big, it’s hard to imagine a more incredible treat than being able to bowl under the watchful eye of Wasim Akram.
You mark out your run-up, get a grip on the seam, and launch into your delivery stride, while Akram stands a few paces behind and assesses your potential. After you’ve delivered the ball, he walks over and points out the areas where you could improve. Then he asks you to have another go, and the process gets repeated a few times.
For ten absorbing days last month, this is precisely what Akram did with a select group of Pakistan’s promising youngsters. The disciples included those already in the national side as well as those knocking on its doors, plus four raw seamers picked from a countrywide talent hunt. The camp convened every morning from 9am to 1pm under Karachi’s blazing April sun.
Akram is almost 47 and has diabetes but you couldn’t really tell. He looks as fit as a panther and spent all those hours out there concentrating and critiquing, without showing any signs of hardship.
Occasionally he felt the need to turn his arm over. As far as he was concerned, this was simply a practical demonstration of his art, but the effect on everybody else was breathtaking. He only bowled off a couple of paces, but the ball still nipped and zipped. Once or twice he merely rolled his arm over from a dead stop. The ball still shot through and swung around. It was the equivalent of Picasso casually slapping paint on a canvas, or Mozart tapping on some piano keys in boredom.
Akram’s talent and career were a gift to Pakistan, and as the years go by it is proving to be the kind of gift that keeps on giving. An intensive hands-on tutorial such as a training camp is but one example of his magic rubbing off. A much greater ripple effect is the flowering of left-arm seamers in Pakistan, which has witnessed a remarkable bloom in recent years.
Approximately 10% of Pakistan’s general population is supposed to be left-handed, but since Akram’s retirement in 2003 there have been far more left-arm seamers at the international level than this figure would predict. Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, and Rahat Ali – it has been a virtual explosion. There have also been few lesser-known names, including Mohammad Khalil, Samiullah Niazi, Kamran Hussain and Najaf Shah, who each played only a handful of games. If you examine Pakistan’s entire 61-year Test cricket history, there have been 20 players (discounting Gul Mohammed and Ijaz Ahmed) bowling left-arm medium pace or faster ; astoundingly, half of them have appeared in the wake of Akram’s career.
Comparison with other teams brings this phenomenon into even sharper focus. Left-arm seamers entering international cricket in the post-Akram era comprise 30% of Pakistan’s pace-bowling crop, but in the other nine Test-playing teams their collective proportion is only 12%. This two-and-a-half-fold blip demonstrates the extent to which his younger compatriots have been bewitched by Akram’s inspiring spell.
If you examine Pakistan’s entire 61-year Test cricket history, there have been 20 players bowling left-arm medium pace or faster; astoundingly, half of them have appeared in the wake of Akram’s career
Akram’s involvement with the Karachi camp was not limited to technical analysis. He also spent a good deal of face time with the boys, sharing meals and drinks, and telling stories.
One of his themes was the importance of physical training through running laps around the ground, which is imperative for building stamina and reserve. During Akram’s early days in the Pakistan side, the pace-setter for the fast-bowling contingent’s training routine was none other than Imran Khan, and it was unthinkable that the lads would stop running before Imran did. Imran taught them the value of toil and labour, and Akram tried to faithfully pass this lesson on to the attendees of his camp.
He also spoke to the boys about personal grooming, comportment, articulation, and looking the part. Speaking with ease and confidence, looking slim, and sporting trendy shirts and designer shades (not to mention once hobnobbing with a former Miss Universe), Akram is certainly a credible preacher of such advice. To drive the message home, he even had one of Karachi’s leading fashion stylists – a chic beautician who goes by the solitary name Nabila – give pointers to the boys on culture and couture.
It may be early to say how much of Akram’s instruction and wisdom the youngsters managed to absorb, but you can’t deny the value of the exercise. The tradition of learning at the feet of grandmasters is timeless, and it has stood the test of time precisely because it has proved so effective. The Pakistan board deserves a great deal of credit for making it happen, and for assigning resources as a priority. Pakistan’s full-time bowling coach Mohammad Akram was present throughout the duration of the camp, and head coach Dav Whatmore also came in for a couple of days. Chief selector Iqbal Qasim was also present at intervals.
Now if we could only get something similar set up on the batting front. Word is that Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul-Haq are both available and willing. PCB, what are you waiting for?
Written by: Saad Shafqat
Courtesy: ESPN CRICINFO
ABBOTTABAD: Legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram has declared that the Pakistan team is favourite for the forthcoming ICC Cricket Champions Trophy due to its superior pace attack.
The high-profile ICC event is scheduled to be held in England from June 6.
Talking to reporters at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium during the national camp here on Saturday, Wasim said Pakistan’s main weapon in the upcoming event would be their powerful pace attack comprising young and experienced fast bowlers who would give the squad an edge over other competing teams.
The total number of camp trainees here reached 20 on Saturday which included 15 members of Pakistan squad plus five fast bowlers who remain under Wasim’s supervision after being selected through the ‘King of Speed’ programme.
The camp which commenced on May 2 will conclude on May 8 and the team will soon afterwards leave for the UK via Karachi where it will play two ODI matches each against Scotland and Ireland. Pakistan will also play a warm-up match against the West Indies on May 30 before launching the Champions Trophy campaign.
Hailing the PCB decision for holding the camp in Abbottabad, which is around 4,120 feet above sea level, Wasim said that the conditions here would benefit the players due to its similarity with the weather conditions in England.
“The stadium’s wicket is very helpful for the seamers and the weather conditions are more than perfect here,” Wasim remarked.
The Abbottabad stadium is surrounded by lush green hills and the heavy, seaming conditions are ideal for pacers to swing the ball besides helping them to build on their stamina for longer spells of bowling at this high altitude.
Pakistan’s former captain sounded quite satisfied with the performance of Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Umar Amin and others. He also specially mentioned the hardwork put in by newest pace sensation Ahmed Jamal who topped the ‘King of Speed’ trials in Karachi last month by bowling at 143kph.
Wasim predicted that Ahmed would soon will be part of national team but currently needs more first class and domestic cricket experience in order to gain more control on his line and length.
Meanwhile, young middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq, while speaking to Dawn, said in the absence of senior batsman Younis Khan, he would be facing a lot of pressure to consolidate and carry the innings during the Champions Trophy matches.
“We are going to prepare ourselves to win our first fixture in Scotland and also to maintain the tempo in the warm-up matches before entering the Champions Trophy battle,” he said.
Pakistan cricketers are undergoing hectic physical exercises and nets training for almost four to five hours daily under head coach Dav Whatmore, fielding coach Julien Fountain, former captain Javed Miandad, bowling coach Mohammad Akram and assistant coach Shahid Aslam.
Miandad, while lauding the PCB decision to set up camp here, said the grassy ground at the stadium encouraged the fielders to dive and take difficult catches which could prove effective in the upcoming ICC event.
Shaukat Gul Khan Jadoon, the administrator of the ground and also the head of a leading Cricket Academy here, is providing back-up players and ground staff to the camp.
Giving his opinion, Jadoon said in past too, the camps set up in Abbottabad helped the team in producing outstanding results in international events.
The national team players are residing in the Pakistan Army School of Physical Fitness, Kakul, equipped with a highly sophisticated gym and trainers.
Extraordinary security arrangements have been made for the camp and several policemen are guarding the area throughout.
Former bowling coach of the Knight Riders tells young captains like Gautam Gambhir must learn from seniors like Rahul Dravid, who know how to manage their aggression.
Sunil Gavaskar had called Kolkata Knight Riders “listless” and their skipper Gautam Gambhir “frustrated.” On Friday, Wasim Akram has slammed the defending champions for their “negative” approach.
With seven defeats in 11 matches, KKR are seventh in the points table with very little chance to make the last-four. Rajasthan Royals are third in the standings (six wins in ten games) and have a good chance to make the top four. Akram writes in his column all credit must go to Rajasthan captain, Rahul Dravid.
Akram has been KKR’s bowling coach till last season. He had been full of praise for Gambhir’s strategies and man management capabilities. But not his time. Gambhir’s on-field brawl with Virat Kohli has seemingly not gone down well with Akram as the former Pakistan speedster says: “Misplaced aggression doesn’t help.”
And then to depict Dravid as a role model, Akram writes: “Dravid has been aggressive throughout, but only with his bat and in his thinking. There lies the difference and young captains need to understand this. They must learn that actions speak louder than words.”
Akram has slammed Kolkata for their “negative” tactics. Saying the defeat against Delhi Daredevils in Raipur on May Day will dampen KKR’s morale, Akram feels “negative” tactics and injuries have hit the team hard.
India name their Champions Trophy squad on Saturday and Gambhir cannot take his place for granted this time around.
Courtesy: NDTV Sports
The tough-guy fast bowlers of yesteryear might not approve, but Pakistan’s budding young quicks were coached on their appearance at a training camp this week – by a hair stylist.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) organised the 10-day camp led by legendary paceman Wasim Akram after concerns were raised over the standard of fast bowlers coming through from the youth ranks.
As well as being drilled in technique and fitness, the players were also given a lecture by top Pakistani stylist Nabila Ahmed on how to look good off the field.
“We wanted to tell the players through Nabila’s lecture how to present yourself as a person which is very important for international players as they are ambassadors of the country,” said Wasim, who indicated that his floppy centre parting may have helped him to snare his 414 Test wickets.
“A good hairstyle and good dress add to your confidence and it can play a very good role in giving someone much-needed confidence.”
Since retiring from cricket Wasim has become a familiar presence on Pakistani TV screens, both as a cricket pundit and in advertisements, and he is keen for his young charges to learn from his slick demeanour.
“As a person you need to look presentable, which I feel has been missing in some of our players,” he said.
Courtesy: FOX SPORTS
Wasim Akram at the Fast Bowlers Camp with PCB and Ufone at the National Stadium, Karachi, he has taken the responsibility to train the bowlers of his country.
For more photos from the National Stadium, Karachi, visit our official Facebook Photostream here.
Pakistan legend Wasim Akram wants Sachin Tendulkar to add a diplomatic feather to his cricket cap by becoming the peace envoy for the two neighbouring countries.
Ahead of Tendulkar’s 40th birthday on Wednesday, Akram called on Tendulkar to help improve relations between the two nations.
“People in Pakistan see him as an icon, a legend and batting maestro. People respect him as much in Pakistan as they do in India and worldwide. He is a true ambassador,” Akram said.
“The way he speaks, he is a quiet man and unlike a superstar, but he is a superstar. He is a true role model and he can be very helpful and useful between these two countries as an ambassador,” the former skipper told ‘BBC’ during a radio special titled ‘Sachin at 40′.
It was aired on Tuesday and featured a range of former colleagues like Kapil Dev, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly paying birthday tributes.
Courtesy: NDTV SPORTS