LAHORE - Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has said that Pakistan is lacking striking fast bowlers despite good talent and desired to become Pakistani bowling coach, if Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) offers him to take the bowling coach job.

He expressed these views while talking to journalist here at the NCA. Pakistan is in search of bowling coach and a committee headed by Intikhab Alam has already short-listed the names of coaches in which a few foreign coaches including McDermott, former Australia fast bowler, has also been included. The PCB has been searching for a bowling coach since the appointment of Dav Whatmore as the head coach and Julian Fountain as the fielding coach. “I am ready to be the bowling coach of country and if the PCB contacts me then I will offer my services as I want to serve my country which gave me name and fame and want to pay back to Pakistan,” he said.

“It’s an honour for me to serve the country and it can be done by helping the upcoming bowlers. It will give me a chance to pay back what the country has given me.” Akhtar, who retired after the World Cup in 2011, had 178 Test and 247 ODI scalps in a 14-year long career marred with controversies and injuries.

Rawalpindi Express said that the current lot of bowlers is good but he feels there is no any strike bowler in it. “The current lot of bowlers is good, but not as good as what we are known for in our strong history of fast bowling,” he said. “I always hear that we have talent, but what more important is to hunt that talent. Unfortunately, we are struggling in fast bowling for the last one and half years.”

Akhtar suggested that PCB should use the services of past greats, like Imran Khan, to unearth talent. “I prefer if PCB call Imran Khan at least for one day. That will make a difference. He has that eye to spot the talent and it will be ideal if Imran can take out some time.”

According to Akhtar, Pakistan have the best brains, only need to be engaged with the team. However, in case the PCB was seeking someone outside the country, he suggested former Pakistan bowling coach Daryl Foster’s name. Recently, the PCB had also made a formal offer to Wasim Akram for a short-term coaching role for young fast bowlers but an agreement couldn’t be reached owing to Akram’s busy schedule.

Commenting on the upcoming series against Australia in United Arab Emirates, Akhtar said that the onus would be on spinners in the absence of experienced fast-bowlers. Pakistan have dropped Umar Gul and M Sami for the tour. “Pakistan is already lacking true strike bowlers and Gul obviously will be missed this time. If pitches in UAE are flat, then I am afraid things won’t be good for the young fast-bowlers and spinners and will have to take the extra load.”

Earlier, the bowling coach was to be announced before the Sri Lanka tour but was delayed due to unknown reasons. Secondly, the head of three-man committee announced by the PCB, Intikhab reportedly announced that the bowling coach would be announced prior to the Australia series as they have shortlisted the candidates list but the case was still delayed for best reasons to the committee. “It will be a good series and bowlers will play a key role in the series,” he concluded.