Akram opens up on the possibility of becoming Pakistan’s chief selector

Former cricketer is the top contender for the role after Misbah’s resignation

Akram opens up on the possibility of becoming Pakistan’s chief selector PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Akram has opened up on the discussion with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regarding the position of chief selector, while talking in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan,

Akram is the top contender for the role after Misbahul Haq decided to resign from the position citing workload concerns. 

“Working for Pakistan in an honour for anyone. I was approached [for the chief selector role] but there is nothing concrete at the moment. I believe other people were also approached for the same role. There was no further discussion as PSL [playoffs] was just around the corner and it was important for me to concentrate on the job in hand [with Peshawar Zalmi],” said Akram.

Akram also backs the previous selection committee setup, involving a chief selector and his team, as compared to the ongoing system which includes input from coaches of regional teams.

“The six [regional] coaches who are working at the moment are very experienced and there input will be taken even if they are part of the selection committee or not. They are close to the players and it’s beneficial for us to have them as part of the process,” he said. “Although, ideally I want the traditional selection committee setup because it is difficult to be the coach and selector, at the same time, as I have experienced that in the past. The relationship between the coach and players in the dressing could deteriorate because of this.”

Akram, who is Director Cricket for Peshawar Zalmi, also dismissed the possibility of working full-time with the franchise if he accepts the role of Pakistan’s chief selector.

“I won’t stay with Peshawar Zalmi if I start working with the PCB because it’s very difficult to do two full-time jobs at the same time. Although, I might consider working as a consultant for any franchise,” he said. 

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The former cricketer also shed light on Peshawar Zalmi’s below-par performance in the season five of Pakistan Super League (PSL).

“The team cohesion, arrival of foreign players on time, momentum, injuries all play a crucial part in a T20 league. If you look at this season, Multan played really well in the first round and had the momentum but they couldn’t do the same in the playoffs due to the long gap between matches. If you look at our side, we suffered a lot of injuries and the ball was wet [due factor] in the second innings [in eliminator against Lahore Qalandars] which made things difficult for us. Having said that, it must be said that the other teams played really well as well.”

He also cleared the air regarding West Indies’ all-rounder Darren Sammy’s role in the franchise.

“As things stand, Darren Sammy will be our head coach next season and there is no chance of him playing as a player,” he said.

He also spoke about Pakistan’s chances during tour of New Zealand and the Covid-19 cases in the team.

“New Zealand have zero [Covid-19] cases so they will have concerns and you can’t blame them for that,” he said. “I think the series will be a good one as all the talented players in Pakistan have travelled to New Zealand and it now depends on what combination that the team management plays. But winning in New Zealand is not an easy task and we will have to play some really good cricket.”