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Akram to fine-tune Pakistan bowlers

Published: 06th April 2013 11:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2013 11:37 AM   |  A+A-

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Legendary pace bowler Wasim Akram will fine-tune Pakistan's fast bowlers for the Champions Trophy at a 10-day training camp in Karachi this month.

Three untested fast bowlers — to be picked around the country by a cellular company and the Pakistan Cricket Board — will join the likes of Umar Gul, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan during the April 20-29 camp.

Akram said it's high time for Pakistan to find lethal fast bowlers to have a reserve pace armory as he feels it's easy to teach them how to control the pace and the art of swing.

Akram took 414 wickets in 104 test matches before quitting the longer format of the game in 2002. He also took 502 wickets in 356 one-day internationals and retired from international cricket in 2003.

The PCB had been trying schedule Akram in for a camp since the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last year, but the former Pakistan captain had been busy with assignments as a television commentator — mainly in India.

"The idea is that within 10 days give the fast bowler the insight of the game," Akram told reporters in Lahore.

Akram used to form a lethal pair of Ws with Waqar Younis in the late 1990s, but since their retirement only Shoaib Akhtar was able to briefly fill their shoes. Pakistan suffered a big loss when young left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir and pin-point accurate Mohammad Asif were both suspended for longer periods from international matches for their involvement in match-fixing in 2010.

Akram hopes that the three untested young fast bowlers could prove an asset for Pakistan after getting training with Pakistan's frontline at Karachi.

"We should prepare a crop of fast bowlers so that if someone gets injured, we know there is a backup," Akram said. "Of course these fast bowlers will then be picked in their respective regional teams and their progress will be monitored on regular basis."

Akram was not impressed by Pakistan's fast bowlers in the test series in South Africa which the Proteas won 3-0, saying they didn't "bowl in the right corridors."

"I have to teach them what is, like we the commentators say, the good corridor," he said. "What is the right line and length, and how to bowl yorkers around the wicket."

However, Akram is impressed with 7-foot-1 Mohammad Irfan, who was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers on the tour of South Africa.

"I told him in India that if you are physically fit you can disturb a batsman in all the three formats of the game," Akram said. "If he is trained properly then he will be there for three, four years."

After a 10-day camp at Karachi, there will be a special camp for the Champions Trophy-bound squad in the northern city of Abbottabad where Akram said he would also monitor the progress of the fast bowlers.

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