Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has lashed out at ex-speedster Shoaib Akhtar, saying that he doesn’t understand why people take Akhtar seriously.
The former left-arm pacer laughed in response and said: “Then make him the chairman. I don’t know why people take what Shoaib Akhtar says so seriously. If a person has no tameez (manners) he knows nothing about life,” he added.
When asked whether local coaches can and should be appointed for the national squad, Wasim Akram said he was not sure whether any local coach would live up to the task.
“Give me some names, give me an option amongst the local coaches and I will try and pick one good candidate but I doubt if there is any,” he said.
When asked to give his opinion on Javed Miandad, Wasim said: “Javed bhai has a great cricketing mind and has been involved with Pakistan cricket. He can come in as a cricket director or a consultant. However, to be coach, you have to be involved with Pakistan cricket for at least 10-15 years,” he added.
When asked whether the coach should have the final say in selecting the playing XI, Akram said it is a “very difficult question to answer.”
“It should not be about ego,” he said. “At the end of the day, the coach’s job should be to ensure the team that has been selected for him, plays well.”
Responding to reports of Babar Azam being “unhappy” with the T20 World Cup selection, Akram said the skipper was one of the best batsmen in the world but he will have to learn some things.
“What does Babar Azam need, as a captain, at the end of the day? He needs to know how to win, you know. If he thinks an average player can win him the match, then Babar Azam should back him,” he said.
“We have to change the ‘I know a person so I have to back him’ mindset of Pakistan cricket,” stressed Wasim. “People still request me to have either this or that player selected [for the team]. I mean, for God’s sake,” he added.
When asked whether he was influencing the selection for the national squad, Wasim Akram responded by saying “not at all.”
“Do you think I have time for this?” he asked. “I have learn’t only one thing from my time living in Karachi. Urta teer lenay ka nahi hai (do not unnecessarily cause problems for yourself),” he responded, laughing.
Wasim was asked whether Pakistan should review the decision to select Mohammad Amir again, given that now Misbah and Waqar had both stepped down, Akram said it is too late.
“I think it is too late for Amir now,” he said. “He should have made that decision earlier. The team has been selected now.”
He said that in any professional sport, performance matters. “During Misbah’s tenure, we have won against Zimbabwe and South Africa, whose main players were playing in the IPL. We did not win against the main teams because no one had their roles defined,” he added.
Akram said that, in his opinion as an outsider, all members of the Pakistan cricket team’s current T20 squad have a clear role to play.
The former skipper said if he was head coach of the national squad instead of Misbah, he would have asked for the best bowling, fielding and batting coaches.
“I wouldn’t want people appointed [as coaches] whom I get along with the best,” he added.