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Lahore: Former Test cricketer Mohammad Akram has been appointed as Pakistan's bowling coach for a period of one year.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director, Intikhab Alam told reporters at the Gaddafi stadium here that the 38-year-old Akram will be supervising a level four coaching course and join the squad in the UAE for the series against Australia.
"The chairman of the PCB has approved his appointment for one year as national bowling coach and he will join the team immediately for the series against Australia in the UAE," said Alam, also the head of the coaching committee.
Pakistan had been without a bowling coach since former fast-bowler Aqib Javed resigned from the post. Former pacer Shoaib Akhtar had last week offered to take on the vacant bowling coach's position with the national team but the PCB rejected his candidature stating that he was not eligible due to lack of qualifications as a 'professional coach'.
The 37-year-old Akram, who played nine Tests and 22 one-day internationals between 1995 and 2001, is now settled in England and had shown a lot of interest in the bowling coach's position. "Akram is the ideal choice for us after taking into consideration a lot of factors like his utility to Pakistan cricket, monetary matters, expertise and experience," Alam said.
The former Test captain said Akram would also be working at the National Cricket Academy besides being attached with the national squad which would be his primary job. Alam informed that some eight candidates had applied for the position and the committee, after going through their credentials, recommended names of shortlisted candidates to the Board chairman.
He confirmed that Englishman Ian Pont, who had worked as bowling coach with the Bangladesh team, was also among the initial candidates. Akram, who played 125 first class matches, moved to England after getting rare chances to play for Pakistan as he emerged in the era of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed and Shoaib Akhtar.
"I think it's a good choice by the Board as Akram was a very good bowler and has taken professionally to coaching," Pakistan's former captain Rashid Latif said. Akram will join the team in UAE where Pakistan plays three ODIs and an equal number of T20s against Australia from next Tuesday.