Akram desires to coach Pakistan

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Lahore, May 27: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has expressed his desire to coach the national team if the PCB offered him a job and claimed India as the favourites to lift the next month's Asia Cup.

''Coaching Pakistan is a matter of great pride, it is my way of returning something back to cricket which gave me so much,'' Akram told reporters yesterday on the opening day of the Specialised Coaching Camp for fast bowlers being attended by 16 upcoming bowlers here at the Gaddafi Stadium. Akram along with NCA chief coach Mudassar Nazar and coach Aaqib Javed are supervising the seven-day long activity aimed at polishing the talent of young bowlers.

He said though he busy with his commitments on TV, still he would consider the offer if Pakistan cricket Board is serious to hire his services.

''But I am already serving cricket as I am always there to take on short coaching assignments the way I am doing now,'' he said.

He also suggested that the current national team coach Geoff Lawson should join the camp for the build up of the team as soon as possible after completing his vacations.

''I think the coach should be there when the camp starts and he must be there to supervise the training,'' he said.

Laswon would join the training camp of the team for a tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh from June 8.

Akram added that players can not be judged by their performances in Twenty20 cricket as it is a mere entertaining form of cricket.

''For me Test and one dayers are the two good ways to know the individual talent of a player and I think in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) Pakistan players were not given a fair chance to play,'' he said adding ''except Shahid Afridi the rest of the players were not given ample chance to play.'' The former left-arm seamer termed India as favourites to win the Asia Cup based on their IPL perfromance.

He said the specialised camp for fast bowlers will help in polishing the skills and technique of the fast bowlers and he is confident that after seven-day practice some talented bowlers will come to the surface.

''We have talent in abundance and good back up in pace bowling and we have Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul to strengthen the team,'' he said.

He, however, refrained from commenting on the fitness of Shoaib Akhtar saying, ''I just cannot make any comment because it is hard to say about his fitness as once again he has become unfit.''

UNI

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