KARACHI - Pakistan bowling coach M Akram is facing the axe with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) looking to build up a new support staff for the 2015 World Cup. Reliable sources in the board have told PTI that there are strong indications that Akram will be removed as the bowling coach of the team and told to work at the National Cricket Academy and perhaps also be given additional responsibility of being on the national selection committee.

"The indications are there and the reason the board has not decided on Akram as yet is because the former chairman, Zaka Ashraf had given him a two year contract," one source said. Another source said that if Akram is removed from the national coaching panel it would be a big upset since he had become very influential in recent times in the team and had the right connections in the corridors of the board.

"It is no secret that the present Chairman, Najam Sethi consulted Moin Khan, who has now been made the chief selector and manager of the team, and Akram on how to go about the future of the national team," the source stated.

He said Akram, before leaving for England this month, had infact submitted a complete plan to the Chairman for the national players so that they could be prepared for the coming season which begins with a tour to Sri Lanka in July-August. "But it appears as if now the tide is against Akram as well since the board has made up its mind to bring back Waqar Younis as head coach."

"Since Waqar himself is a former fast bowling great, the feeling is that there is no need for Akram now in the national team as the board is also planning on appointing either Mushtaq Ahmed or Saqlain Mushtaq as spin consultants soon." The new selection committee is likely to include former Test opener Wajahatullah Wasti and Haroon Rasheed, the director of game development in the board, as co-opted selector.

Ironically since the last few months it appears as if the board only trusts a few former players for key responsibilities and these lucky ones include Moin Khan, Intikhab Alam and now Rasheed. Akram has been employed as bowling coach since 2011.