Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal lashed out at former pace great Waqar Younis saying his tenure as the national coach was a total failure. He also claimed that Waqar’s enthusiasm to experiment caused Pakistan to regress by two to three years and also cost them in the ICC rankings.
Waqar Younis represented Pakistan in 87 Tests and 262 ODIs taking 373 and 416 wickets respectively. Though he is considered as one of the greatest fast bowlers the world has ever seen, his compatriot Akmal has questioned his abilities as a coach and accused him of not performing the role of a coach in a responsible manner.
“Waqar bhai was a failure as a coach and he caused a 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,” Kamran said on Geo Super reported PTI.
Waqar played the role of head coach for the Pakistan cricket team in 2010-2011 and 2014-2016. During the 2016 T20 World Cup which was held India, Pakistan’s performance was very poor as they were knocked out in the league stages. Following this exit, Waqar faced a lot of criticism and was forced to step down from his post as the head-coach.
“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,” Akmal said.
“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."
The 35-year-old Akamal is one of the senior players of the Pakistan team having played 53 Tests and 157 one-day internationals and he slammed the former coach for the team’s poor performances during his tenure. According to him, Waqar was great as a player but was not a good coach as he didn’t give his players a chance to settle down in the squad which also caused their downfall in the ICC rankings across formats.
“I remember Umar Akmal scored a hundred in 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 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 stated.