Aaqib Javed: Camp under Wasim Akram for bowlers a great initiative by PCB

Aaqib Javed said that the bowling camp is a great opportunity for the bowlers and they should make the most of it as these opportunities do not present themselves every day. Photo Courtesy: PakPassion.net

By Saj Sadiq

Aaqib Javed, the former Pakistan fast bowler and ex-national bowling coach and now head coach of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) team, is a World Cup winner under the leadership of Imran Khan in 1992. Aaqib took 236 wickets in an international career that spanned more than nine years. After his retirement, Aaqib has held a range of coaching positions, including roles at the Lahore Regional Academy and also the National Cricket Academy. His most recent stint with the Pakistan Cricket Board ended in February 2012 when his contract as Pakistan’s bowling coach was not renewed at his own request.

Well known for a keen eye on pace bowling talent and having the ability to groom up and coming bowlers in Pakistan, Aaqib spoke to PakPassion.net about the benefits of the training camp under his former team mate and fast bowling partner Wasim Akram.

Aaqib said: “The camp is a great opportunity for the bowlers who have been invited to learn and they should make the most of it as these opportunities do not present themselves every day. I’d advise the bowlers to listen very carefully, learn and use the advice that is being passed onto you.”

Aaqib added: “To change the whole outlook and philosophy of a fast bowler in the course of 10 days is asking a lot. Even a brilliant bowler like Wasim Akram will find it tough to totally change and improve some of the bowlers at the camp in Karachi. I worked with Wasim when the PCB utilised his services at training camps in Pakistan when I was bowling coach. Make no mistake, Wasim’s very good with the boys, particularly on technical aspects and on the mental side of the game. But the question I would ask is: Can you develop and genuinely improve a fast bowler in just 10 days?”

Aaqib added: “Wasim can guide the bowlers at the camp, he can give the boys lots of technical advice and information on the basics, but expanding a fast bowler’s capacity in the space of a 10-day slot is a very tough ask. To really benefit these bowlers you have to work with them over a long period and look at their basics, their speed, their accuracy, the ability to swing the ball. In a 10-day slot like Wasim is doing, it’s easier to help and work with bowlers who are already playing at the highest level and doing very well, give them some technical advice, minor changes here and there. But in such a short space of time it’s a difficult task to really benefit those bowlers who are just starting their first class careers.”

Aaqib who has worked with most of the bowlers that are attending the training camp feels that the young bowlers will absorb all of the information that Wasim is passing onto them and despite the short length of the camp — and it most likely to be a one-off  — some benefit will come out of it. He also feels that the camp is a good initiative and something that should be done on a regular basis.

“I’m sure most of the attendees will listen intently to Wasim’s advice and I think despite one or two drawbacks as I have outlined, the camp is a good idea. As a coach, at the end of the day, we can only guide, advice and suggest changes. Once a bowler goes out onto the park it’s up to him to perform and show what information he has taken on board. Some boys are quicker learners than others, some you waste your breath on, others want to learn and some don’t, that is part and parcel of the job. I think the initiative is a good one by the PCB but to really benefit our pace bowling resources holding these camps on a regular basis is what’s required.”

Nineteen of Pakistan’s best bowlers, including Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan, are attending the 10-day camp at the National Stadium in Karachi.

(Saj Sadiq is Senior Editor at PakPassion.net, from where the above article has been reproduced. He can be followed on Twitter at @Saj_PakPassion)