Former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram has backed all-rounder Shahid Afridi’s appointment as the skipper of the national side for the upcoming ICC T20 World Championship, saying “there is a value for nuisance in Pakistan cricket.”
Akram said Afridi may have earned a bad name for himself and the country following the shocking ball-chomping incident in Australia, but he is the best man to lead the team in the current scenario.
“He (Afridi) has a lot of energy and this format of the game, needs his aggressive approach. Surely, he will now be thinking about the World Cup because the nation’s prestige will be in his hands. He just has to control his wildfire emotions,” The Daily Times quoted Akram, as saying.
The champion left-arm pacer also backed the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to appoint his former new-ball partner Waqar Younis as the chief coach and former middle order batsman Ijaz Ahmed as his deputy.
“I think this is the best team management Pakistan can ask for. I am happy for Waqar. He always wanted to be the coach of Pakistan,” Akram said.
Describing Waqar as a hard taskmaster, he said discipline has always been an issue with the national side and one should expect Waqar to wield the stick on erring players, if required.
Akram, however, said the PCB must give time to the newly appointed coach to make the team deliver.
“He must be given a year to prove himself,” he said.
Akram said he is ready to help the Pakistan team and his old team mate Waqar whenever they ask for any assistance.
“If Waqar calls me for the camps, I will be happy to go and share a few thoughts with the bowlers. Unlike many of our senior cricketers, I am not hankering for money from the PCB. I am available for free as long as my professional commitments are not compromised,” he said.
Describing former cricketers as the ‘biggest enemy’ of Pakistan cricket, Akram raised questions over former batsman Javed Miandad’s loyalty.
“I have all my regards for Javed bhai. But then when I see him ridiculing the PCB after taking a salary every month, I wonder if he has any loyalty left in him?” he said. (ANI)