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Wed, 25 Sep 2013 20:15:00 GMT

PCB extend bowling coach Akram's contract

Pakistan bowling coach Mohammad Akram has been handed a one month extension on his contract, which was due to end with the completion of the Zimbabwe series. Akram will now travel with the side to the UAE for the series against South Africa.

PCB extend bowling coach Akram's contract

“We have extended his contract for another month," a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "It is a decision amid the ongoing caretaker setup, in which the board cannot appoint nor make a call to terminate anyone's services in the light of the Islamabad High Court order. So, Akram will join Pakistan's squad next month in the UAE for the South Africa series."

Akram joined the side as the bowling coach in 2012 after the series against England, once Aaqib Javed resigned from the position in order to become UAE’s head coach. The former pace bowler has been with the national side since the ODI series against Australia in the UAE. He has guided the side through five Tests, 25 ODIs and 16 T20Is. The likes of Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil and Asad Ali made their debut in the Pakistan side during Akram’s tenure.

Akram has represented Pakistan between 1995-2001 and has played nine Tests and 23 ODIs for the side. Talking about the challenges of working in Pakistan, Akram said, "Working in Pakistan is a big challenge

"You have an extensive crop of fast bowlers around the country, but things aren't as fertile as it used to be. We, though, have a history of big names like Sarfaraz Nawaz, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, but they are past now and we have a new era here with completely different bowlers. The tone of the cricket itself has changed immensely.

"We have a nice decent bunch for international cricket and the future with them is entire[ly] secure. It's bit unfair comparing them to the previous great like Wasim-Waqar because you can't have th[at] sort of bowler back again. They were unique and expecting the current lot is not good. They [currently] are good bowlers, and with more international exposure, they can be great in the longer-run. I am working with all the new bunch on top. Even went down at the grass root level to [gain some] insight about the upcoming bowlers, and I am satisfied," he said.

The bowling coach also ran a program at the grass-roots level to try and unearth new talent,  "The idea was to let the region understand how important there role is to build a fast bowler at the grass-root[s]. We aren't running out of any stock, that is for sure. We are actually lacking in the development of the player. What we need to understand [is] that we have to built a solid foundation at the basic level so that once the player graduated up to the national level, he must be a ready-made bowler [for] the country."

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