November 28, 2011

DUBAI (Agencies) – Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram has claimed that his country has the most talented cricketers compared to the rest of the world, but they lack guidance which he had coming into international cricket. Recalling his early days in cricket, Wasim said, “When I made my debut, I was only 17 years old, and just in college.

I had never been out of Pakistan, but I had seniors like Miandad who taught me how to be street smart, I had Imran who taught me how to be consistent and affirmative and Mudassar (Nazar) who taught me chalaki (being shrewd).”
However, the legendary crickter added that things have changed now and young payers do not get the same guidance which he got. The 45-year-old further went onto say that he was ready to assist youngsters in the national side. He added,

“Pakistan cricket can still use my services and expertise. But they have to ask me! No one has asked me till now either this board, or the previous one. The thing is that I don’t have to be a coach of the Pakistan team to help Pakistan cricket.” Wasim said that he spends time in Pakistan every now and then and can easily train some young fast bowlers by telling them how to train and handle pressure while bowling against quality oppositions.

There seems to be enormous talent of fast bowling in Pakistan, as the country has introduced some world class players in this department. One of the all time best was Wasim, who had a tremendous career and is considered to be the finest fast bowler in the history of cricket. He also had a world class partner in Waqar Younis, who has twice been with the national team as a coach.

After the retirement of the Two Ws from international cricket, it seemed that the country will struggle to find quality fast bowlers. However, Waqar worked as a bowling coach with the side and polished some youngsters like Umar Gul and M Asif into fine fast bowlers.

He then took over as head coach of the team and guided young pacers like M Amir, Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz. Pakistan cricket will be hoping to get such assistance from the legendary players in order to polish raw talent into world class cricketers.

Wasim also revealed that it was his late wife Huma Wasim, who suggested him to become a commentator after retiring from international cricket in 2003.

According to the legendary cricketer, “There was no concrete plan that I had made and was going to follow. Sportsmen seldom have set plans on what they should do day-by-day after they retire, but then my late wife Huma said that the best thing I could pursue was cricket commentary — she thought that this was all that I knew.”

Wasim said that he did not like the idea initially and argued with his wife saying that he will have to do a lot of travelling. However, he was happy to have listened to his better half back then. The 45-year-old recalled the words of Huma, as she said, “Wasim, believe me, you will thank me after doing this for six to eight months. You will say ‘Huma, thank God you suggested this.’ You will have the same lifestyle and plus you will be talking about a sport that you have loved and played all your life.”

These were the words which forced Wasim to pursue a career in commentary. He claimed that he was lucky enough to be hired straight away by a famous sports channel and is now enjoying the job more than anything.
Perhaps the best bowler of all time further went onto say that he had some difficult times at the start of his commentating career, as learning English was not an easy task.

However, he learned many things with the passage of time and is well aware now of what to say and what not to. Pakistan cricket has produced plenty of fast bowlers and continue to do so. However, there is no one as accurate and deadly as Wasim. He also had a terrific bowling partner in Waqar Younis and together they were known as the ‘Two Ws.’
There has been no pair as deadly as the former Pakistani pacers, as they were a nightmare for the batsmen. They ruled the rest of the word during the nineties and guided their national side to many historic victories. However, both fast bowlers are enjoying a very good post retirement life, commentating on different sports channels.

Courtesy: The Nation



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