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“I’m not a fool”- Wasim Akram on why he doesn’t want to coach Pakistan cricket team

Amid resignations of the Pakistan cricket team coaches, former captain Wasim Akram said he does not want to take the vacant position due to reasons pertaining to the fans’ misbehaviour on social media, and the long periods to be spent away from family.  

The fast bowling former cricketer said he is not interested in coaching the team despite being one of the top players of his time. Under his captaincy, the team had reached the finals of the 1999 ICC World Cup. Moreover, he was one of the players of the team that won the 1992 World Cup. Though he has been a part of many franchise T20 leagues, including the Indian Premier League and the Pakistan Super League, he either was a part of the support staff (like in IPL) or coached for smaller teams (PSL).  

The 55-year-old expressed his disinterest in coaching the national team and the reasons for it on a recent episode of a show called ‘Cricket Corner’ broadcasted on Cricket Pakistan. The show delved into why Mr Akram never became a part of the coaching squad, to which he said that it will not be possible for him to devote the time the role needs. He said a coach is required to spend a minimum of 200-250 days a year to train the team which would mean being away from family for that amount of time. “I don’t think I can manage so much work away from Pakistan, from my family. And as it is, I spend time with most of the players in the PSL, they all have my number and they keep asking for advice,” Mr Akram said during the interview.  

He also listed the other reason for his decision- fans’ misbehaviour on social media over team coaches and players. The former captain of the Pakistan cricket team said that users often hold trainers responsible for the team losses though it shouldn’t be so.  

“I am not a fool. I keep on hearing and seeing on social media how people misbehave with their coaches and seniors. The coach isn’t the one playing. The players are the ones playing. The coach can only help with the planning. So, if the team loses, I don’t think the coach is as responsible or accountable as we hold him as a nation,” he said adding that he cannot tolerate people misbehaving with him.  

Appreciating the fans and their love for the sport, he said, “I love the people, their enthusiasm and passion for the game, but not the misbehaviour that is shown on social media. It shows what we are. I have never seen this happen in other countries.” 

Last month, the head coach of the Pakistan team, Misbah-ul-Haq resigned from his post. Following the move was bowling coach Waqar Younis who also quit. Acting as interim coaches for the ICC T20 World Cup this year are former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq to train the team until they find permanent replacements.