Karachi: Pakistan fast bowling great Wasim Akram has lashed out at some former stalwarts who refused to apply for the head coach's position of the national team because of his involvement in the process of shortlisting the candidates.
Without taking names, but in an obvious reference to former Test cricketers Mohsin Khan and Aaqib Javed, Akram said he was disappointed to know some former players didn't want to apply because they felt him, along with former captain Rameez Raja, had advised the Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint a foreign coach. "What sort of attitude and mindset is this. One former player said I will apply and talk directly to the chairman. When you have such a mindset, how can one expect them to work well with the Pakistan team?" Akram told Geo News.
Akram and Rameez were appointed by the PCB to help shortlist candidates for the head coach's position, which eventually went to South African Mickey Arthur after Englishman Peter Moores and Australian Stuart Law pulled out of the race.
The former fast bowler, who is now a well-known commentator, said he had always believed in giving respect to his senior players. "But even respect is a give and take thing and one expects to be respected by everyone," Akram said.
Akram said he and Ramiz only helped the PCB with shortlisting candidates. He confirmed that no high profile Pakistani coach had sent his application through the given channel. Akram was clearly riled by the statements of Mohsin, who said he wouldn't apply to his juniors or players with tainted pasts.
He further added that Arthur carried a lot of coaching experience behind him and he hoped he would turn around the Pakistan team. "But one should not expect him to bring about improvement immediately, as our team is currently languishing in ninth position in ODI rankings. Even he will require time to turn things around," he said, adding that it was shameful that Pakistan cricket had slipped to such a low. "It is shameful but this downslide has not happened overnight. It is a result of the fact that our domestic cricket structure has lost its competitive edge and is not producing quality players for a while now," Akram said.
Akram said Pakistan should expect a tough time when they tour England this summer. "Don't expect them (England) to prepare flat pitches for our batsmen. The Duke ball will seam and swing on grassy pitches and it will be a real test for our batsmen to negotiate the ball," he said.
Asked about the decision to drop opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad on disciplinary grounds from the list of probables for the national camp being set up ahead of the tour to England, Akram said he didn't agree with this approach of selectors or the board. "If we drop players on purely disciplinary grounds, then many of our era including myself would not have played for Pakistan. I think if a player has a problem it is the job of the team management and captain to deal with it and get him to perform," he said.