LAHORE - Pakistan former cricketer Sarfaraz Nawaz has said that the hiring of a new batting coach is nothing but to show-off the cricket world that Pakistan have a batting coach.

Talking to this scribe Tuesday, Sarfaraz said: “How can a coach improve the batting of Pakistan players in just three weeks as they failed badly in the recent tour to South Africa. There is a dire need of hiring a full time batting coach. If the board goes for hiring a local batting coach then it will not only help the players in enhancing their skills and game without any hesitation as there will be no communication gap but it will also assist the PCB save national exchequer which is being wasted on foreign coaches despite unsatisfactory results.”

Talking about selection of the team for Champions Trophy, he said: “First of all, I would like to felicitate chief selector Iqbal Qasim on selecting a well-balanced team on merit. Though the selection is better yet there is still a room for improvement. I think Umar Akmal should be given chance and if he is dropped to give him punishment then he should learn from it and make a comeback as an improved and better batsman.”

To a query regarding Shahid Afridi’s exclusion, the former pacer replied: “Dropping Afridi from the squad is a very good decision as he deserves no place in the team. He is now flopped as a batsman and also not required as a bowler too for Champions Trophy as England pitches are batting friendly in the month of June and do not help the spinners much. They also have very less turn and movement. So the team management should think about it as the team, having good batting strength, will be ultimate winner as compare to those having bowling strength. So in this scenario, it is, in fact, a wise decision taken by the selection committee to drop Afridi.”

He also criticised the inclusion of Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat saying that both were not suitable in England conditions and instead Ahmad Shahzad should have given chance. “Shahzad has a good batting track as he hammered century against New Zealand at their home ground. The New Zealand pitches are very much like the England’s so inclusion of Shahzad can help in boosting the team’s batting strength. The selection committee must rethink about Shahzad’s inclusion in the squad if they want to get boost in batting.” 

To another query, Sarfaraz replied: “The king of speed trials to explore bowling talent is a good initiative by the board and it is helping the bowlers a lot. But such camps should be held for a long period which will surely help the bowlers in learning a lot and improving their bowling skills. The best bowl with 143 kmph is not a satisfactory result from this healthy activity as last year we have bowlers in our camps who bowled with more pace than the winner did.”

He said there was no dearth of talent in the country but the dire need of the hour was providing proper and better opportunities to the players. “For grooming young and promising talent of the country, I am going to open my own cricket academy in Islamabad “Sarfaraz Nawaz International Cricket Academy’ which will not only provide the youngsters every possible opportunity to groom them but also provide them scholarships so that they may take part in national and international cricketing events,” Sarfaraz concluded.