Akram offers to help Pakistan, but with a rider

Sydney, Feb 18:

Left-arm pace legend Wasim Akram Wednesday expressed his keenness to help the Pakistani team in its quest for the World Cup, but insisted on offering his services only if the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) approaches him.

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram

Pakistan lost their World Cup-opening match against fierce rivals India by 76 runs Sunday. Their bowling performance was heavily criticised as they allowed India to post 300 runs after losing the toss.

“The irony is neither the Pakistan cricket authorities nor anyone in the team has approached me to help or advise them,” Akram was quoted as saying by heraldsun.com.au.

Akram was instrumental in Pakistan’s only World Cup success in 1992, bagging the Man-of-the-Match award in the final.

He is widely regarded as one of the best swing bowlers of all time.

The former skipper, presently in Australia as a television pundit for the World Cup, said he was surprised his services weren’t sought after Pakistan’s poor bowling display.

“I am here in the World Cup and I want to go and help our players adjust and do well in the tournament in these conditions. But I can’t do this without an invitation,” he said.

The 48-year-old added he will always be there to help the team as he wants it to do well in the event. He also believes sharing his experience with the players could help them cope with pressure of the modern-day game.

“I am often criticised for not helping Pakistani players but giving tips to players from other countries,” Akram, who has taken 924 international wickets, said.

“This is unfair as even now if they ask me I will go and help in anyway because I know a lot about modern day cricket and players in this World Cup and I want to see Pakistan reach the knock-out stage.”

Pakistan are currently coached by Akram’s one-time pace partner Waqar Younis. IANS

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