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Posted by Wasim Akram Home Page on Sunday, September 27, 2015

Amir can become a world-class bowler: Wasim Akram

Former captain Wasim Akram said on Sunday pacer Muhammad Amir can become a world class fast-bowler as he has age on his side and a bright future ahead of him.

“I think he should concentrate on domestic cricket for a full season before he thinks about playing international cricket again,” Akram told Pakpassion.net. Akram said Amir must perform in domestic cricket and should regain his confidence before entering international cricket.

“Amir should get some matches under his belt, get some wickets and then come back to international cricket,” he said, adding Amir should be given another chance as he had apologised for the mistake he committed. Speaking about the future of Saeed Ajmal in international cricket, Akram cited the example of Muttiah Muralitharan, saying if the Sri Lankan cricketer could play well in to his forties then there was no reason why Ajmal could not match the same feat.

“Ajmal has been a fantastic servant for Pakistan cricket and as long as he is taking wickets then there is no reason why he cannot play for Pakistan once again,” he said. Akram said the most important thing though was whether Ajmal is comfortable with his new action and whether he can be effective with the revised bowling action.

Regarding Younus Khan, Akram said Younus does not get the recognition in world cricket that he deserves. ”He is as good as any player in the world when it comes to Test cricket. If you talk about the current great Test batsmen such as AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Michael Clarke or Steve Smith then Younus deserves to be mentioned,” he said.

Further, Akram said Younus, who has numerous batting records, is a true ambassador of Pakistan cricket. “He is a great, honest and hardworking guy. His performance speaks for itself and as a Pakistani I am very proud of him and his achievements,” Akram added. Commenting on pace bowlers in Pakistan, Akram believes that Pakistan’s pace bowling talent will never stop. “We need to channel these fast bowlers and make sure we make full use of our academies and the facilities they provide,” he said.

Akram said academies should be available in major cities and not just in Lahore. ”PCB needs to ensure that they invest in the academies as well as our up and coming cricketers as they are the future,” he said.


Pulling out a gun not the way to deal with road rage: Wasim Akram

After escaping an attack in Karachi on Wednesday, former Pakistan cricket captain Wasim Akram said road rage could happen anywhere in the world but taking out a gun and firing on someone was not the way to settle things.

Akram, who was in Karachi to conduct a bowling camp, was on his way to a session when his car was involved in an accident. According to police, the accident was followed by a heated exchange and a man pulled out a gun and fired a shot that hit the tyre of Akram’s car, Dawn News channel reported. Akram escaped unhurt.

Police officials at the scene said Akram was not the intended target and was unlucky to have been caught in what “could have been a tragic situation”.

Referring to the incident, Akram told the media at the national stadium that the incident was scary. “It was just an accident when I was coming to the stadium. There is lot of rush at this time and I was in the middle lane and a car hit my car from behind. I signalled the driver to come to the side but he tried to make a fool and tried to race off which irritated me a lot,” Akram said.

“I got a bit frustrated and chased that car and blocked it and while I was standing and arguing with the driver a person stepped out from the back seat holding a gun and pointed it at me. But since the traffic had stopped and people recognised me as Wasim Akram the man than lowered his gun and fired at my car which was very scary,” he narrated the whole details of the incident, which is now being investigated by the police.

Akram said the person after firing at his car’s tyre and the other occupants of the car then left in a haste but he had noted down the number of the car and immediately called the police, who responded quickly. “I have shared all details with the police and I am confident they will apprehend the culprit. Because road rage can happen anywhere in the world be it England, Australia, USA but taking out a gun is not the way to settle such things,” Akram said.

“And if this person who fired is so brave than he should come forward and face things,” the former Pakistani cricket captain added.


Wasim Akram blames Vaughan for Ajmal controversy

Former legend Wasim Akram had blamed former England captain Michael Vaughan for the controversy regarding Saeed Ajmal’s bowling action saying the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should have tackled this problem at that time.

The former England captain Michael Vaughan had tweeted regarding Ajmal in which he had questioned the off-spinner’s bowling action when he was playing country cricket in England. Akram said the PCB should have countered this by withdrawing Ajmal from the County circuit whilst compensating him for any financial loss.

Akram said Ajmal bowled over 600 overs and natural tiredness can creep in and make the action appear incorrect. “Ajmal should know that the whole cricketing fraternity and hopefully the PCB are all behind him in this time of need,” Akram said while talking to a private news channel. Akram said Ajmal is the best we have and who else will support him if we also abandon him.


Wasim Akram on ICC Champions Trophy with Gillette Pakistan

Pace attack will provide edge over competing teams: Akram

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.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

Curtly Ambrose and Wasim Akram were the toughest bowlers I faced, says Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting, the outgoing Australian batsman, has expressed that Curtly Ambrose and Wasim Akram were two of the most difficult bowlers he faced in his long international career.

The former Australia captain announced his retirement from Test cricket before the start of the third Test of the three-match series against South Africa at Perth, after a run of poor performances in the competition. The Tasmanian had already called it a day from the limited-over sport earlier this year.

The 37-year-old cricketer could not make an impression in his last Test as well, scoring just 12 runs in the two innings, failing to help his team save the series, losing the last match by a massive margin of 309 runs.

While talking to the media representatives after the match, the legendary batsman expressed that Ambrose and Akram were the toughest bowlers for him to cope with. Ponting expressed that the lanky West Indian had an immaculate line and length, which made him a great bowler.

“I think Curtly Ambrose and Wasim Akram were probably the two outstanding quicks that I faced, and for different reasons. Ambrose for his ability to just make you feel like you couldn’t score off him for long periods of time, never felt like he was going to bowl you a bad ball,” said the former Aussie skipper.

With more than 27 thousand runs at the highest stage of the game and 71 centuries, Ponting is surely one of the greatest batsmen of all times. On top of that, the Tasmanian is considered as one of the most successful international captains, having led the Kangaroos to consecutive World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007.

Ponting also commented on the former Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram, and said that the left-armer was a phenomenal bowler because of his ability to bowl magical deliveries at any stage of an innings.

“Akram for the exact opposite, you could get a few runs off him, but you just knew there was an unplayable ball around the corner, be it with an old ball or with a new ball,” the great cricketer added.

Courtesy: BETTOR.COM

World T20 Super Eights: Group 2 is the group of death, says Wasim Akram

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram on Thursday described the Group Two of the ongoing World T20’s Super Eight stage as the “group o death”.

India, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa comprise the Group Two, while defending champions England, hosts Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies have been drawn in the Group One of the Super Eight stage.

All the four teams drafted in Group Two topped their respective groups in the league phase of the global event, and are unbeaten thus far. India got the better of Afghanistan and England while Pakistan defeated New Zealand and Bangladesh in the Group D fixtures.

“Group 2 is surely the group of death,” said Akram while speaking to media reporters yesterday. “India and Pakistan have showed their might in this format and have really performed well in the league stages.”

“Australia are a top notch side…They always rise to the occasion and that makes them a dangerous side,” said the legendary Pakistan pacer of George Bailey and his men, who defeated semi-professional Irish outfit and one of the tournament favourites West Indies in their Group B fixtures, in the lead up to the Super Eight Stage.

Akram though urged the Australians to improve their middle-order batting if they are aiming to lift their maiden World Cup trophy.

South Africa is the fourth team in the death group and made it to the Super Eight stage after crushing Zimbabwe and hosts Sri Lanka in the league phase. Though they have notoriously choked in big game, especially in the global tournaments, Akram feels Proteas’ excellent fielding could galvanize their performance any time, on any stage.

“South Africans have good experience of the conditions…Several of them play the IPL,” the veteran swing bowler added further.

Top two teams from both groups will qualify for the tournament semi-finals. Whilst Sri Lanka and West Indies are being anticipated as the qualifiers from the Group One, Akram said it was difficult to pick the favourites from Group Two.

“It’s really tough to pick which two teams will make the last four from group 2. But one thing is for sure, the champion team will almost certainly come from this pool,” said the cricketer turned commentator.

Courtesy: BETTOR.COM

Wasim Akram happy to see Yuvraj Singh back in international cricket

Legendary cricketer and former Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram, is delighted to see Yuvraj Singh successfully battling against cancer and making a return at the global arena.

The all-rounder from Punjab was out of international cricket since the series against West Indies last year and also missed the Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) fifth edition, where he was supposed to lead the Pune Warriors India.

The stylish middle-order batsman returned to the world-stage during the just-finished T20 series against New Zealand , scoring a 26-ball 34, which included a boundary and a couple of massive hits out of the park.

The all-rounder is also an integral part of India’s World T20 plans and will have to perform well with both, bat and ball if the Men in Blue have any chance of regaining the title. Yuvraj has a tendency of delivering the goods on big stages, having received the Player of the Tournament award in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Wasim is jubilant to see the hard-hitting batsman back in the Indian colours but feels that he will have to work extremely hard to get back to his best.

“It was great to see Yuvraj back in the field. I saw his quick-fire 34 off 26 balls against the Kiwis in Chennai. Typically, Yuvraj connected a few lusty blows but his timing has to get sweeter. I am sure everyone’s going to watch him closely in Sri Lanka,” Akram said.

India are currently going through a dilemma regarding the team selection, with their four bowlers not looking at the peak of their game at the moment, especially after their warm-up fixture against Pakistan, where the Men in Blue failed to defend a big total.

Wasim is of the view that Mahendra Singh Dhoni possesses the luxury of batsmen who can role their arm over with the ball.

“For a 20-20 game, India have several all-rounders and that will enable Dhoni pick four specialist bowlers and seven batsmen,” the great cricketer added. “The fact that Sehwag, Raina, Yuvraj and Kohli are decent bowlers is a great bonus for Team India.”

Courtesy: BETTOR.COM

Wasim Akram urges Pakistan batsmen to play their natural game

Legendary pacer Wasim Akram feels the negative mindset of Pakistan batsmen is the main reason behind their poor performance in limited-over games of late.

“I think the team management, including the coach, also needs to install confidence in the players. They need to tell these players to go out and play their natural game,” Akram told Geo News channel.

Wasim Akram’s comments came after Pakistan faced a four-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the opening One Day International of the three-match series, played at Sharjah, UAE, on Tuesday.

In the series opener, the Pakistan batsmen once again failed to put up a par total on the board, as the whole team was bowled out for just 198 in 45.1 overs. Seven batsmen fell for single digit scores.

The Men in Green looked in a position to post a respectable total after reaching 160 for four in the 36th over, courtesy Asad Shafiq (56) and Umar Akmal (52). But they failed to cross the 200-run mark, after losing their last six wickets for just 38 runs in the next 10 overs. The meagre total was comfortably chased down by the mighty Aussies, in the penultimate over, with four wickets to spare.

- Wasim Akram urges Pakistan batsmen to play their natural game

Wasim Akram, the veteran of 104 Tests and 356 ODIs, noticed that the Pakistan batsmen were afraid of playing shots during the powerplays. He urged the top order of Pakistan to change its mindset and play aggressive cricket, at least in the mandatory powerplay.

“The power play period must be utilised fully. I feel our batsmen are scared to play their natural and are getting into trouble,” said the left-arm pacer.

It may be noted here that on Tuesday, Pakistan lost three wickets in the mandatory powerplay and three in the batting powerplay.

After an impressive 2011 season, Pakistan cricket team has been struggling to impress in the limited-overs format since the start of this year. They faced a 4-0 whitewash at the hands of England in February and recently lost an ODI series to Sri Lanka with a 3-1 margin. Batting has been their major let down in both the series.

The second ODI between Pakistan and Australia will be played at Abu Dhabi on August 31.

Courtesy: BETTOR.COM

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