T20 cricket does not make bowlers: Wasim Akram | Daily News


T20 cricket does not make bowlers: Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes T20 cricket is no criteria to judge a bowler or his performance.

Akram, believed to be as the best left-arm fast bowler of all time, reckons that even though T20 cricket has its set of advantages, youngsters, mostly bowlers, need to play more of the longer format if they are to prepare themselves for the long run.

“The amount of cricket happening has changed everything. T20 cricket does not make bowlers. Back when we used to play, it was six months playing for the national team and another six months for county team. Youngsters need to play more First-Class cricket to learn bowling,” Akram told Aakash Chopra on his YouTube Channel.

“T20 is amazing, good entertainment; there’s plenty of money involved and I’m all in for the importance of money in a sport and the players. But I don’t judge bowlers on the basis of their T20 performance. I do on the basis of seeing how they fare in the longer format.”

Recalling his initial days as a Pakistan cricketer, Akram said he had absolutely no clue about the talent he had as a 17-year-old. Akram, who made his ODI debut in 1984, and in Tests a year later, revealed how he would overhear his idols Imran Khan and Javed Miandad talk about him in a promising tone, but had no idea what it meant or where it came from.

“When I was new into the team, I used to listen to Imran Khan, Javed Miandad talking among themselves that ‘this boy is a special talent’. So when I asked them what is so special about me? They said things like ‘my pace is deceptive, and I swing the ball’. So then I began working on those aspects. When I went on first tour and got 10 wickets, I realised how amazing it was - playing with your idols, for the country, getting paid and I thought this should go on for 20 years,” Akram added.

Known as one of pioneers of reverse-swing in bowling, Akram explained the importance of youngsters to think out of the box, an approach the former pacer revealed he took to pretty early in his career.

“Very few left-arm pacers used to bowl round the wicket when I started. As a youngster I thought if I bowl from this side, a different angle will generate and batsmen will find it tough. Those were the things I learnt on my own. I picked up the old ball in the nets, and tried out things like hiding myself behind the umpire during my run-up. The point is to create doubt in the mind of batsmen and that’s what I wanted to do,” Akram pointed out.

“I see so many fast bowlers these days, running in the entire day, bowling with the same run-up, same pace, without variations. That won’t make a batsman think. I have to keep them guessing what he’s coming up with next. There are so many little things that a bowler can do to trouble a batsman.”

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