LAHORE – Former Test cricketer M Akram was appointed as the bowling coach of Pakistan cricket team by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a period of one year.

Talking to the reporters here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday, coach-hunt committee head Intikhab Alam said that the 38-year-old former Test pacer had been given a one-year contract and would be supervising a level four coaching course. He would join the national squad in UAE before Pakistan vs Australia ODI series.

“Akram become the ultimate choice after Englishman Stuart Barnes expressed his inability to immediately join the team, said Intikhab. He said the committee also comprising Zaheer Abbas and Col (retd) Naushad Ahmed shortlisted two candidates, Akram and Steward after a thorough discussion and recommended the name of Akram finally.

Britain-based Akram is presently working as a bowling coach with University of Loughborough London and brings with him rich experience as a bowling coach, he said. Akram represented the country in nine Test matches from 1995 to 2001 and took 17 wickets before migrating to England to earn a better livelihood.

Intikhab said the PCB chief has approved the selection of Akram and his one-year contract is renewable based on his performance as a bowling coach. “He is a good choice and we believe he will be able to overcome the gray areas in the pace bowling by guiding the bowlers in right way. He will also be working in National Cricket Academy (NCA) to impart training to U-16 and U-19 teams and will also assist in talent-hunt programmes at a time when the Pakistan team has a break in its international assignments,” he said.

“We want to utilize the skills and potential of Akram who has gained useful experience while working as a university bowling consultant and we firmly believe he will be an added advantage for our bowlers to make amends in their bowling,” Intikhab added.

Akram was backed for the role by a number of former Pakistani first class cricketers including Rashid Latif and Azhar Mahmood and now therefore, he is assigned one of the important jobs of bowling coach and it is hoped that he will not only improve the bowling department but also hunt talented fast bowlers for the country.