I will coach Pakistan but not India: Akram

Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Wasim Akram, who had drawn criticism for helping seamer Irfan Pathan during a tour of Australia last year, has said in no unclear terms that if given a chance he would coach the Pakistani team in future but not the Indians.

"I'll coach Pakistan but not India," the legendary left-arm seamer said in Karachi at a function organised by the sponsors of Pakistan's domestic competition.

Akram said that when he had helped out Pathan with some bowling tips he had been surprised at the reaction from some quarters over this development. "After the reaction I saw I know that the day I coach India people will kill me."

Akram, however, soon added that he did not envisage to see himself as a cricket coach in near future.

"I don't see myself being a coach since to be honest I'm not an organised person. And to make a good coach you need to be as organised as say like Bob Woolmer, Dav Whatmore and John Wright," he was quoted as saying in the local daily 'The News'.

Akram also made it clear that he had no regrets leaving cricket when he did.

"I left cricket at the right time and I'm happy and content with my life now because when people say they miss me, it's a great feeling for me."

On fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, Akram advised him to work on being more acceptable in the team by the other players.

"He is a match winner but he needs to work on being popular with the other players. He is not a bad person I know that, but he needs to make himself acceptable in the team," he said.

About Shoaib getting an offer from the Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt to act in one of his films, Akram said there was nothing wrong in the 'Rawalpindi Express' doing a film.

"I've no doubt that he can do well as an actor because when he first started playing in the team we used to call him 'Shoaib Actor'," he said in a lighter vein. But on a more serious note he added that he wanted to see Shoaib back in the Pakistan team.

"I just think he was spoilt and pampered by (Former Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman) Tauqir Zia which was not good for him. It was not on when the PCB sent a separate physio/trainer for him to New Zealand in 2001 while the rest of the players trained with another physio," he said.

The former captain minced no words while discussing the PCB officials saying generally those appointed to the major posts had no proper cricket background or were short on cricket knowledge.

"They are well meaning people some of them but they don't have the required cricket background. Recently they offered Waqar Younis a short-term contract as bowling coach, knowing very well he had a long-term offer to do commentary on TV," he said and added, "I think there is a need among the establishment to treat our former players with more respect and pride."

Akram also admitted that he was wrong in criticising the selection of Younis Khan as vice captain by the PCB. "

I'm the first to raise my hands and say I've been proven wrong because Younis has improved his batting remarkably and also shown good leadership qualities," he said.

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