KARACHI  - The Pakistan Cricket Board is considering candidates for the newly vacated post of bowling coach for the national team, and Rashid Latif has suggested that M Akram is the most suitable man for the job.
The PCB has completely overhauled the coaching set-up, with interim coach Mohsin Khan having been replaced by Dav Whatmore, and Julien Fountain having been appointed fielding coach. After the resignation of Aaqib Javed, who left the national team in order to serve as head coach of the UAE cricket team, the post of bowling coach needs to be filled, and former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif feels that the board doesn’t need to look beyond Mohammad Akram.
Akram, a former Pakistan team pacer, played for the national side between 1995–1996 and 2000-2001 before moving to England, where he signed a 3-year contract with Surrey. Latif claimed that Akram had a good deal of experience after having played overseas, and under a variety of coaches, owing to which he was sure to bring good management skills to the field.
“I think the PCB should appoint M Akram as I think he is the right man for the job,” Latif said. “... he has vast experience having played first class cricket for 14 years in Pakistan and England and he has already done a lot of coaching.”
He went on to add that the appointment of a local coach would suggest that the PCB was not thinking seriously about long-term goals.
He stated that Akram had the potential to not just improve players’ performances for upcoming series, but develop, and improve the skills of both youngsters and veterans, in order to take them forward, and move the team up to another level.
“Too often we look at the result and are satisfied, but the best coaches in the world … take the performance of the players into account and look at areas of improvement and I think Akram will do this.”
Pakistan’s former all-rounder Azhar Mahmood was of a similar opinion, saying Akram’s knowledge of the reverse swing, and conventional swing would serve the Pakistani bowlers well, and his fluency in both English and Urdu would enable him to facilitate communication between the players and the foreign coaching staff.