Thatscricket - News - 'Sultan of Swing' takes a swipe at Miandad

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2004, 19:59 [IST]
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New Delhi:Pakistan's former fast bowling great Wasim Akram has taken a swipe at teammate Javed Miandad for suggesting he had passed on "secrets" to Indian pacemen.

"I have not modified their (Indian bowlers') actions or anything like that. Nor have I handed them any secret weapons," Akram wrote in his column in the Times of India on Thursday.

Media reports quoted Miandad, the current Pakistani coach, as saying he hoped Akram had not been giving India tips on how to play reverse-swing ahead of an upcoming historic Test series between the two nations.

India are scheduled to play three Test matches and five One-dayers in March-April on their first full-fledged tour of Pakistan in nearly 15 years.

"Come to think of it, I haven't even discussed reverse-swing with them (Indian players), let alone taught them how to bat against reverse-swing," said Akram, who is in Australia as a TV commentator.

India's Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan -- all left-arm pacemen like their idol -- sought Akram's help on their ongoing tour of Australia to improve their performance.

"In the past few days, some heat and dust has been raised by Javed Miandad about my spending time with the young Indian bowlers," said the "Sultan of Swing" who bagged 414 wickets in Tests and a record 502 in One-dayers.

"I don't see anything wrong in talking with Irfan who is just 18 years old and approached me with a request to spend time with him at the nets. Nobody said a word when (Australian paceman) Nathan Bracken sought me out similarly.

"I've only shared my training methods and talked about the psychology of bowling with the Indian youngsters.

"Back in 1996 when India was preparing for the Lord's Test (in England), a certain Miandad spent much time with the Indian captain, his deputy and other batsmen.

"Of course Viv Richards was there as well as they sought to help the Indians tackle the seam and swing movement. I guess it was okay then for 'secrets' to be shared."

Miandad meanwhile clarified that he was never against his former teammate giving tips to Indian pacemen.

"Even I as a former player have helped youngsters from other countries," Miandad told the paper.

"I was never against Akram giving any tips, but the way it came out in the media it seemed as if I was stopping him."

Miandad however warned Indian batsmen they would not find it easy against the Pakistani attack despite their impressive performance in Australia.

"It won't be easy to continue the same form in Pakistan," said Miandad.

India drew a tough four-Test series 1-1 in Australia, with batsmen Rahul Dravid, Venkatsai Laxman, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar all dominating the hosts' attack.

"In cricket, fortunes are balanced on just one ball. That's what it takes to dismiss a batsman," said Miandad.

"As of now India must be riding a wave, but don't forget India struggled to beat New Zealand at home before this tour."

'I am not on a mission to help India'

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