This week has been a busy one for all the eligible coaches for Pakistan’s national cricket team. A statement which sounds almost a
like a joke considering the lack of professionalism while talking about the national team of a sport that runs through the veins of our
nation. A rumor spread out that Mohammad Akram had surprisingly been appointed the bowling coach of our cricket team, while the likes of Shoaib Akhtar “The Rawalpindi Express” and the legend Wasim Akram have been ignored in spite of the fact that both of these pace masters expressed willingness and availability to coach the national team and help the cricket board groom the younger fast bowlers.
The rumor was finally put to an end by the chairman Zaka Ashraf himself who on Thursday night in a conference claimed that the PCB is indeed evaluating candidates for the position of national team’s bowling coach but cannot go out and beg different players to come and coach them, the position is available for them and those interested can apply who would further be evaluated based completely on merit. A simple and logical statement by the chairman, but it shows the lack of cricketing awareness and politics that the PCB could be confronting at this time, which is only hurting our cricket and nothing else.
The choice of words that the chairman used in the conference and the sarcastic manner in which he spoke about the board going out to “BEG” former players to become the coach gave hints of clashes between cricketing interests and personal egos. Chairman’s point of selection based on merit was also quite acceptable, but the “merits” that he was implying were wrong. Pakistan cricket at this time needs reliable match winning bowlers. Too much dependency on spin bowling can actually limit the approach of the team which has been seen in the past few matches. Ordinary spells from Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi would mean an ordinary performance overall in the bowling department.
Umer gul is seen to be ageing, although he still has the right ingredients to be the striking force of our attack but the flare is missing. That flare comes in through inspiration and good mentors. Shaoib Akhtar was an exceptional bowler in every manner. He was not
only speed, he used move the ball through his brain and reach those stumps. Sharing his experiences and tips and tricks could have been an enormous score for Pakistan since he could have worked with the team on their level and with it he would also have been able to inspire them, since he is a very recent player.
Talking about Wasim Akram, who has repeatedly complained about not being asked even for once to coach the national team, he simply could have been the key to greatness in bowling for Pakistan. His experiences of coaching the KKR from IPL and training camps in many countries are also present, yet the ego of the board comes in between.
The role under the current conditions of a bowling coach is extremely important. The powerplay overs from Pakistan in the last year have been completely ordinary and need some spark. Bowlers like Aizaz Cheema and Junaid Khan need mentors above their heads who can not only coach them but also ignite a flare in them like Waqar Younis once did for Umer Gul and Sami. Our cricketing board needs to understand that legends like Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram need to approached as treasures of the nation not the other way around for that would only hamper our cricket further.