Pakistan launches hunt for fast bowlers
Lahore: Pakistan Wednesday launched a hunt for fast bowlers to overcome a shortage of quality pacemen in the country once known for its production line of quicks.
Under the "King of Speed" programme, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will seek out bowlers who can hit 145 kph (90 mph) for a special training camp with legendary left-armer Wasim Akram.
Wasim and pace partner Waqar Younis formed one of the deadliest pairings in international cricket and furthered the art mastered by their illustrious mentor and captain Imran Khan in the 1970s and 80s.
Speed king Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami dominated the scene in 1990s and 2000s and both attained speeds of over 100 mph in international matches.
But the lack of quality pace bowlers has been a concern, with the country`s chief selector Iqbal Qasim last month raising fears Pakistan might not get quality stuff in the pace department unless concerted efforts were made.
"The King of Speed camps will be set up in ten cities across Pakistan from 13 to 21st April and the trials will be held in two phases," a PCB release said.
Wasim last week agreed to help the PCB unearth talented fast bowlers and also help the current bowlers in the national team ahead of the eight-nation Champions Trophy to be held in England from June 6-23.
The PCB along with their sponsors will give away a grand prize of one million rupees ($10,000) to the bowler who achieves the fastest speed above 145 kph.