Mohammad Akram given one-month extension by PCB

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Akram has had a positive influence on Irfan and Khan

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have given bowling coach Mohammad Akram a one-month extension on his contract as the national team prepare to host South Africa in the United Arab Emirates.

Akram’s one-year contract officially ended at the end of Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe.

Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan will continue his role as team manager for the home series against South Africa.

“We have extended his [Akram] contract for another month,” a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. “It is a decision amid the ongoing caretaker setup, in which the board cannot appoint nor make a call to terminate anyone’s services in the light of the Islamabad High Court order. So, Akram will join Pakistan’s squad next month in the UAE for the South Africa series.”

Akram took over as bowling coach in 2012 after Aaqib Javed resigned to become the head coach of the United Arab Emirates’ national team.

Akram has had a good influence on the pace duo of Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan as the pair were unstoppable during Pakistan’s limited overs tour of India in December and their tour of South Africa in February.

“Working in Pakistan is a big challenge,” Akram said earlier this year. “You have an extensive crop of fast bowlers around the country, but things aren’t as fertile as it used to be. We, though, have a history of big names like Sarfaraz Nawaz, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, but they are past now and we have a new era here with completely different bowlers. The tone of the cricket itself has changed immensely.

“We have a nice decent bunch for international cricket and the future with them is entire[ly] secure. It’s bit unfair comparing them to the previous great like Wasim-Waqar because you can’t have th[at] sort of bowler back again. They were unique and expecting the current lot is not good. They [currently] are good bowlers, and with more international exposure, they can be great in the longer-run. I am working with all the new bunch on top. Even went down at the grass root level to [gain some] insight about the upcoming bowlers, and I am satisfied.”

The 39-year-old also created a programme to help train Pakistan’s regional coaches.

“The idea was to let the region understand how important there role is to build a fast bowler at the grass-root[s],” he said. “We aren’t running out of any stock, that is for sure. We are actually lacking in the development of the player. What we need to understand [is] that we have to built a solid foundation at the basic level so that once the player graduated up to the national level, he must be a ready-made bowler [for] the country.”

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