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Akhtar plans academy to provide quality fielders

cricket Updated: May 08, 2010 15:07 IST

IANS
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Worried about poor fielding performance in the ongoing World Twenty20, Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has decided to set up an academy to train youngsters become quality fielders.

Pakistan's fielding nightmare began during the disastrous tour of Australia earlier this year and touched a new low when they dropped five catches to go down to England in the Super Eights.

"I will soon set up an academy for youngsters with the main aim of providing quality fielders to the national side," the maverick pacer said on a TV show on Saturday.

He said he would seek former captain Rashid Latif's assistance before establishing the academy.

"Rashid is already running academies and I would take his advice and help to set up an academy for youngsters," he added.

The pacer said Pakistan’s performance was falling due to sloppy fielding. Otherwise the team has all the quality of beating world class teams like Australia and South Africa.

"Fielding has become a concern for the team and it must be improved," he said.

Akhtar also stressed the need for a quality fielding coach for Pakistan.

The fast bowler also defended Shahid Afridi whose captaincy is under criticism following two defeats in the ongoing world Twenty20.

"Shahid is a new captain, he should be given time, it is too early to raise (questions) on his captaincy," he said.