Karachi: Considered as one of the fastest bowlers of his generation, Shoaib Akhtar is now ready to bowl on a different pitch as the Rawalpindi Express is likely to coach the State Bank of Pakistan in the upcoming season.
Leading Pakistan daily, the Dawn, has reported that the 38-year-old Akhtar has shown keen interest in the coach's role and is looking forward to the new assignment. "Shoaib has shown deep interest when we approached him.
At the moment, we are in the process of formalising the contract details," said team manager Zaheer-ul-Hassan. "It will be a huge bonus for us to have a cricketer of his stature in the support staff as the head coach. We are extremely happy that Shoaib has expressed his desire to play his role in uplifting the State Bank cricket team," Zaheer told the Dawn.
The State Bank of Pakistan team management is looking to improve the side's showing after ending 10th in the 11-team competition last season. "Yeah, it was a very close call [to avert relegation] last season.
At times the entire squad was under great pressure to survive the drop. Had that been the case, it would have been pretty hard for us to run the team because a colossal amount is spent each season", he said.
Shoaib, nicknamed the 'Rawalpindi Express', made his debut in November 1997 and retired after the 2011 World Cup in a career marred by controversies and injuries. The speedster had once expressed his interest in taking up the role of bowling coach in 2012, under Dav Whatmore, but nothing concrete came up.