ICC World Cup: Hurt at being ignored, but Akram still offers to help Pakistan team

Pakistan's former captain Wasim Akram, upset and hurt by accusations that he helped Indian players and not being approached by Pakistan, has offered to help the national cricket team salvage its World Cup campaign

Karachi: Pakistan's former captain Wasim Akram has offered to help the national cricket team salvage its World Cup campaign.

But the left-arm fast bowler made it clear either the Pakistan Cricket Board or team management would have to first ask for his help and advice.

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram 

"I am in Australia and New Zealand and I am ready to do my bit to help out the Pakistan team in their World Cup campaign. I know a lot about the current players. But so far no one neither the management nor the board has asked me for assistance," Akram said on Geo News channel.

Akram said he was unhappy that fingers were pointed out at him for helping out players from other countries, notably India, and not the Pakistani players.

"What am I supposed to do? Go and stand outside the Gaddafi stadium that please give me employment... I want to do something for Pakistan cricket. How does anyone expect me to get involved with the Pakistan team in the World Cup if no one asks me," he said.

He pointed out that he was always willing to offer tips to any player from any country approaching him.

"What hurts me is that no one from the Pakistan camp has thought it fit to ask for my help or advice. I am here and I am willing to help. I have told the PCB time and again I don't want a job, I just want to help out the players," he said.

The star player, who is on the Kolkata Knight Riders coaching staff in the IPL, said that the Pakistan team could even face tough times against the weaker teams in the World Cup if they didn't pick up their game.

"They have no other option but to just improve now. We also lost our first match of the 92' World Cup to West Indies by 10 wickets but kept on going as our captain believed in us. This Pakistan team has to also improve quickly."

Akram said the PCB and team management also needed to relax the players and not bound them with too many restrictions and curfews.

"Look they are adults and they are in Australia and New Zealand. Let them go out and experience the culture. Unless they do this how can they grow and become confident and a player who is not confident as a person will always struggle on the field as well," he said.

Akram said he could understand having a deadline the night before a match but not every night. "Even in training the players needed to be given some space and not pushed to their limits."

Akram said he was disappointed at Pakistan's defeat to India but added that one could expect this when the batsmen were not willing to move their feet at all. "Even now I can tell you how many deliveries I need and how I can get a Pakistani batsmen out. They are not willing to play on the front foot and remain on the back foot than how do you expect them to get runs in Australia and New Zealand," he said.

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