June 14, 2012

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wants former Test captain and fast bowling legend Wasim Akram to spare time to coach at a camp for emerging players to be set up at Gaddafi Stadium from June 20th. Intikhab Alam, the former Test captain who heads the PCB National Academy affairs, told reporters here on Wednesday that Wasim would be invited to coach at the camp which will feature the country’s best emerging talent.

“I hope Wasim can spare some time out of his schedule and give some time for the camp because the players can learn from his experience and skills,| Intkhab said. Wasim has twice held short camps for fast bowlers for the board in the past but by and large both have had differences over Wasim’s role in Pakistan cricket affairs.

While the board has insisted that Wasim’s busy schedule as a commentator, host and consultant in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has prevented them from utilising his services fully, Wasim has time and again complained he would love to work with Pakistan players provided the board invites him properly. Intikhab said the camp was being set up primarily to shortlist the best talent among the emerging players and give them the opportunity of training with some of the former top players and coaches of the country. Wasim is said to have played a more influential role this year in the IPL in his job as bowling consultant and mentor for the Kolkatta Knight Riders which went on to win the IPL title for the first time.

Intikhab also said that he had submitted his report on his visits to Malaysia and UAE, which were possible neutral venues to host Pakistan’s one-day series against Australia in August. Intikhab, who was sent by the board to inspect the ground conditions and weather situation, said he expected a final decision on the venues to host the Australia series in two to three days. The PCB has also sought input from the team management, currently in Sri Lanka, on which country would be more suitable to host the Australia series.

Sources said that this might well be Intikhab’s last major assignment for the board since the Chairman, Zaka Ashraf. was not happy at the way some deserving players were left out of the list of players given central contracts and retainers by the board on the recommendations of a committee that was headed by Intikhab. Intikhab is also said to have played major roles in convincing the board to hire Dav Whatmore as coach and also replace Misbahul Haq as the national T20 captain.


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