LONDON: Pakistan cricketer Kamran Akmal accused former national coach Waqar Younis of causing damage to Pakistan cricket.
The wicketkeeper-batsman slammed Waqar for not being able to guide Pakistan to success during his two separate tenures as head coach in 2010-2011 and 2014-2016. Reiterating his point, Kamran said that in his enthusiasm to ‘experiment’, the fast bowling great sidelined important players, which put the national team back by two to three years.
Kamran has represented Pakistan in 53 Tests and 157 One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Speaking at a private TV channel, Kamran said: “Waqar bhai was a failure as coach and he caused lot of damage to Pakistan cricket. In his enthusiasm to experiment and sideline established players, he put the national team back by two to three years.” This is the first time that a current Pakistan player has openly criticised Waqar, who was forced to step down as head coach after Pakistan fared poorly in the last T20 World Cup in India.
“I don’t know but he had issues with some players. He had no plans on how to take Pakistan team forward. An example was when he went to the World Cup 2015 and asked Younis Khan to open the innings or his issues on playing Sarfraz Ahmed late in the tournament,” Kamran said.
The right-handed batsman also blamed Waqar for not allowing players to settle down in the team. “I remember Umar Akmal scored a hundred in an Asia Cup match and next match he was batting behind Shahid Afridi and others. Waqar no doubt was a great player for Pakistan but as a coach he was a failure,” he said.
Pointing out Pakistan’s poor performance during the pacer’s tenure as coach, Kamran said: “Waqar took six to seven new players to Bangladesh after the World Cup and the result was we lost the one-day and T20 series for the first time to them.”
He added that the authorities should have learned from Waqar’s first tenure as head coach. “I have played under different coaches including Bob Woolmer and I can say they used to plan and they used to create a rapport with the players. Waqar insisted on training hard all the time and not having the players also focus on their skills and cricket development was damaging to the team.”
Kamran recalled the moment, when he received a national call for the tour to the West Indies and Waqar questioned his selection and the need to have two keepers in the side. “The best part is that Waqar as coach himself kept two keepers in the side,” he noted.