Akram offers to help Junaid, Wahab during World Cup

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2011, 22:13 PM IST

Karachi: Former skipper Wasim Akram has offered his services to the Pakistan team management in the World Cup to help groom two left-arm pacers in the side -- Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz.

Akram, considered to be one of the best left-arm fast bowlers in the history of cricket, has been spending time with the Pakistani players and chief coach Waqar Younis in Sri Lanka.

“Yes I have told Waqar and Shahid Afridi that I am available to help Wahab and Junaid whenever they want me because I have a lot of spare time on hand in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Akram, now a noted TV commentator and cricket expert, said so far he has not seen rookie pacer Junaid bowling but heard good things about him from the coach and captain.

“I love working with the younger bowlers especially if they are left armers. I would love to help the Pakistan team in this World Cup by working with Wahab and Junaid,” he added.

The legendary pacer said it was a wrong impression that while he had time to help out Indian bowlers, Irfan Khan and Zaheer Khan, he didn’t give time to the Pakistani youngsters.

“It is a totally wrong impression because I conducted a fast bowling camp two years back for the Pakistan board and Mohammad Amir was among the trainees in that camp. When I have time I have no issues helping out our players and passing them on some of my own experiences,” he said.

Akram said he doesn’t think that reverse swing would be of any effective in this World Cup.

“The ball is changed after 34 overs and between the 40th and 50th overs I think bowlers must now depend a lot on slow yorkers, bouncers and variation in length. You must keep the batsmen thinking all the time,” he said.

“The good thing is that Paksitan have quality spinners, all-rounders as well as good pace bowlers in this World Cup,” he noted.

Akram said he expected enigmatic fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar to fire in the showpiece event despite reports of him not being fully fit doing the rounds.

“I think Shoaib will do something because even he knows this is the swansong for him on such a major platform. I think he himself is eager to deliver for the team and if he is used properly in short spells he can be a match winner for the team.”

PTI