T20 cricket not ideal for developing quality fast bowlers, says Wasim Akram

The left-arm pace legend advised the youngsters to play more First-Class cricket for honing skills.

Wasim Akram | GettyFormer Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes Twenty20 cricket is not ideal for developing a quality fast bowler.

The left-arm pace legend understands that the shortest format has its advantages but at the same time, he wants the youngsters to realize the importance of First-Class cricket for fine-tuning skills.

See Also: Wasim Akram warns Jasprit Bumrah to "not run after county cricket" 

“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,” Wasim 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,” he added.

Akram also recounted his initial days as a Pakistan cricketer. He said he had absolutely no idea about the talent he had as a 17-year-old.

“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,” the 53-year-old stated.

Wasim Akram revealed how he honed his skills during the practice sessions to make life difficult for batsmen.

“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,” he pointed out, before expressing disappointment at modern-day fast bowlers not doing enough to set up a dismissal.

“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. A 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,” Akram said.

(Inputs from Hindustan Times)


By Salman Anjum - 11 May, 2020

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