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Pak unhappy over Akram's 'coaching' Indians
ANI, PTI
Karachi, January 22, 2004
First Published: 13:57 IST(22/1/2004)
Last Updated: 13:59 IST(22/1/2004)

The Pakistan cricket establishment is not pleased about their former fast bowling great Wasim Akram giving coaching tips to Indian bowlers who are currently on a tour of Australia.

The results are there for all to see. Left arm pacer Irfan Pathan has emerged as the find of the tour in the wake of his searing spells and contributions with the bat in the Test and VB one-day series. Akram has played a leading role in the 19-year old's development as a spearhead of the Indian attack.

Pathan, who toured Pakistan with the Indian under-19 team last November and spearheaded his team to the Asia Cup title, has made a big impression in Australia after taking over from the injured Zaheer Khan, who is said to have already benefited from Wasim Akram's experience and ability, says The News.

One report even said that soon after India's critical victory over Australia on Sunday, Wasim spent over an hour coaching and passing on tips to Pathan who admires the former Pakistan captain.

That report further went on to say that Wasim, who is on a commentary assignment, has been the unofficial Indian bowling coach since coach John Wright first invited him to do this last October in India.

The report quoted Wasim as saying: "He is very earnest. "He is a good bloke, with lot of potential. He runs in fast and that's the first sign of a good fast bowler."

According to the report, it was fascinating to see Akram and Irfan in action: "the master and his pupil. Both have similar frames: same height, same body structure and same good looks."

"Wasim showed him how to hold the ball, how to use his fingers for those special deliveries and how to complete his follow-through. If Irfan had any doubts, he would promptly show him exactly what he meant and how to do it.

The report said that for more than an hour, the two went through imaginary situations of bowling to right-handers, to left-handers, to opening batsmen to tail-enders.

Wasim spent considerable time explaining how to use his fingers for the slower delivery: "The key is to deceive the batsman. He should not see any difference in your arm swing," he kept saying," the report stated.

Normally one would only appreciate Wasim for the time he is willing to pass on his art to a keen learner like Irfan Pathan. But in the background of the Indian's scheduled tour to Pakistan in March-April for the full Test series for which Pathan appears a certain selection, clearly questions will be asked in the Pakistan cricket circles about where Wasim's priorities should be.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Rameez Raja has tried to defend Wasim's unofficial coaching of the Indian bowlers by stating that being an international celebrity and a retired one he had every right to help out any youngster he wanted too.


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