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I'll teach Pak bowlers how to swing: Wasim Akram

Famed paceman Wasim Akram yesterday told Pakistani bowlers that they must master swing bowling to win internationally, as he readies to nurture the country’s talent at a key training camp.

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram

“I was disappointed the way our fast bowlers performed in South Africa, so I will try to teach the fast bowlers how to swing the ball which is important for performing well at international level,” Wasim said at the launch of the camp.

Known fondly as “Sultan of swing” for his mastery, the 46-year-old left-arm fast bowler will train around 15 current and upcoming bowlers at a camp in Karachi from April 20-29.

Wasim was invited to do so by the Pakistan Cricket Board ahead of the eight-nation Champions Trophy in England in June, after Pakistani pacemen failed to impress on tour in South Africa earlier this year.

Frontline paceman Umar Gul managed just five wickets in two Tests while lanky Mohammad Irfan took two in two. Rahat Ali was the best with six wickets in two matches after going wicketless in his debut Test.

Mohd Irfan and Shahid Afridi
Time to learn: Shahid Afridi (right) encourages Mohd Irfan during their ODI vs England at Headingley last year. Pic/Getty Images

“If someone wants to be a really good fast bowler he will have to bear with the scorching sun and heat. If he does that, only then he can become a good bowler and it’s a continuous process of learning,” said Wasim.

Wasim said that Irfan, the world’s tallest bowler who stands at seven feet one inch, has to work hard on his fitness. “If he keeps fit then I am sure he can play for three-four years,” said Wasim.

Akram hopeful
Wasim also expressed hope that India would allow Pakistani players to feature in their lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL).

“I think politics should stay away from sports,” said Wasim, who was the bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL until last year. Since Pakistani bowlers are better than India’s, it will benefit the Indian league,” he added.

Pakistani players featured in the inaugural IPL in 2008 but India stalled all bilateral ties after the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai.

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