ISLAMABAD - Former fast bowler and creator of reverse swing Sarfaraz Nawaz came down hard on Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for hiring the services of pace bowler M Akram as fast bowling coach for the national team.

Talking exclusively to TheNation on Wednesday, Sarfaraz said: "It is a joke that a cricketer who was just a medium pacer of his time and lacks international experience was hired by the PCB as a bowling coach.”

Having earlier been rejected after applying for the job as the PCB had laid down rules and procedure of the qualification of a coach that the person must have at least five years of international experience, he said that Akram did not qualify on the set merit. He managed to convince the coach-hunt committee to recruit him for one-year as he represented Pakistan in nine Tests and 23 ODIs between 1995 and 2001.

"Head of the coach finding committee Intikhab Alam never called Akram for the interview as he was referred by the highest official, even the PCB chief Zaka Ashraf also told the media that he has never met with M Akram and did not have enough knowledge about him," claimed Sarfaraz. Sarfaraz claimed that Akram belonged to Gujar Khan, the native town of Prime Minister, and enjoyed good relations and that was why he was appointed by the PCB.

"The former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani was used to favour Shoaib Malik and now the present Prime Minister is showering benefits on M Akram. If the high officials want to run the cricket affairs then there is no need to appoint the chairman," he claimed.

Terming Intikhab Alam the ‘white elephant’ at National Cricket Academy (NCA), Sarfaraz demanded of the PCB chief to get rid of him and other incompetent officials. "Such officials are misdirecting the PCB chief that resulting in poor performance both at administrative level as well as in the grounds while the latest example in this regard was the poor performance of Pakistan U-19 cricket team in the World Cup history," he added.

"It was Intikhab Alam who finalised the players for the central contracts in which the most deserving players were left out of the top three categories and blue eyed were amongst the top categories," Sarfaraz concluded.