Foreign coaches impartial: Akram

Published: Thursday, October 7, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:The reason why coaches from overseas have been welcomed and proved successful in their stints in the sub-continent is "they do not have a personal agenda" to carry, Pakistan fast bowling great Wasim Akram said on Thursday.

"As a player I felt comfortable with a foreign coach because they don't carry personal agenda," the former Pakistan skipper told reporters here after extolling the virtues of physical exercise during an interactive session with hundreds of admiring school children.

Akram, who is a diabetic and takes three insulin injections daily, was in the city to spread awareness about the disease, initiated by Roche Diagnostics (India) Pvt Ltd.

"I feel the sub-continent players are also confident under a foreign coach as they are neutral and they can trust them," said the great left-arm paceman. All four countries of the sub-continent currently have coaches from outside the region.

India have John Wright as coach, Pakistan are guided by Bob Woolmer, Sri Lanka have appointed John Dyson and Bangladesh are coached by Dav Whatmore.

Akram also welcomed the role taken on by another former Pakistan captain, Intikhab Alam, who would be coaching the Punjab Ranji Trophy team this season.

"I welcome it. He's trying to guide the youngsters. I would welcome anyone trying to guide under 15 and 17 players," he said before having a dig at his former teammate and coach Javed Miandad.

"At least he's not like Javed and wants to coach only a national team," Akram said.

When the case of Ashish Nehra was pointed out, Akram agreed that the Indian left-arm paceman did seem to be very injury-prone.

"He seems to break down every second day, does he not," he asked, but pointed out that another young Indian paceman, Irfan Pathan has continued for over a year without injury problems. Akram said he had predicted the rise to stardom of young Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik two years ago. "He's an asset to Pakistan cricket and a match-winner," the left-arm pace great said of his younger compatriot.

Earlier, Akram during his interaction with school children who thronged the IES Auditorium in suburban Bandra to see him in person and ask questions about diabetes and cricket, advised them to go out and play often and not be mere couch potatoes.

"You have to go out and play for a healthy future. Do not be mere couch potatoes. And have regular diets," he said.

Akram told the children that when he was diagnosed as a diabetic 7-8 years ago he was very upset. "But I decided to get on with my life. I keep regular hours, have regular dietary habits and exercise regularly. After cricket I have turned to golf," he said.

Akram is returning home from here. He was in Pune yesterday and said he would be back in India to spread awareness about diabetes in more cities.

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