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  1. #1
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    "Amir should give up County cricket & T20 leagues instead of reducing intl cricket" : Azhar Mahmood

    In his latest exclusive blog for PakPassion.net, the Pakistan and Karachi Kings bowling coach Azhar Mahmood writes about his overall assessment of Karachi Kings performance at the Pakistan Super League, the inconsistent bowling effort by Usman Khan Shinwari, Mohammad Amir's intentions to play less Test cricket, the excitement of international cricket returning to Karachi and the ball-tampering scandal which has engulfed the world of cricket.


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    Disappointment about Karachi Kings inability to qualify for final in Karachi

    Obviously, like all Karachi fans, I was disappointed by the fact that we could not reach the final of PSL 2018, especially as we appeared to be in a strong position after winning our first 3 games. We then had to share the points with Multan Sultans due to play being abandoned in Sharjah and then had to wait for the next game after a week-long break. As we all know, momentum is key in Twenty20 cricket and with this unusually long break, I felt that we lost that drive and our campaign suffered as a result. We were also a little unlucky with injuries to both Shahid Afridi and Imad Wasim. Apart from things we could not control, we also had a setback due to the super over finish against Lahore Qalandars where Usman Khan Shinwari bowled a no-ball at a critical point. In the final analysis, these are the issues which prevented us from qualifying for what would have been a memorable game for us in Karachi in the final.


    Usman Khan Shinwari and Mohammad Amir need to come back stronger

    Usman Khan Shinwari was making a comeback after an injury and he bowled well in the initial stages but unfortunately, at the crucial stage during the playoff in Dubai, he failed to perform well against Islamabad although to be fair, Luke Ronchi was in brilliant form that day. Along with Shinwari, Mohammad Amir also did not perform well in this year’s PSL despite having the potential to do much better than that. Now both bowlers need to put their heads down and work hard to get themselves back in form but unfortunately due to the fact that there will be a game every day in the upcoming T20I series against West Indies, there won’t be much time to fix issues. We would have liked more time between the three games as you cannot really do much meaningful technical work between the matches. So, if one of these bowlers has a technical problem such as with their wrist position then that cannot be worked upon in such a short period of time and especially when you have back-to-back games. All we can then do at this stage is to encourage, motivate and get the bowlers to back themselves so that they come back stronger.


    Fast bowling standards at the PSL

    I was really impressed by the quality of bowling on display in this year's PSL which was easily comparable to the best Twenty20 leagues of the world. Each of the franchises in PSL had a proper bowling line-up with no part-timers being employed as front-line bowlers. This can explain why several of the matches were so close where we had games that went to the last over and, in some cases, last ball finishes as well as super overs which added to the beauty of the tournament. Even Hasan Ali, who was coming back after a lay-off due to injury bowled really well towards the end of the tournament. Shaheen Shah Afridi was brilliant as was Wahab Riaz and then, Rahat Ali who is usually considered as a Test bowler also showed that he can play this format of the game. Coming back to Wahab, let me say that he was brilliant throughout the tournament in the way he bowled up-front and at the back of the innings as well and most importantly only bowled a few no-balls during the tournament. That particular fact was a very positive thing and pleasing for me as the Pakistan bowling coach as that is one aspect of the game we have worked on a lot with Wahab. I hope he keeps on working on his bowling and improving and if he does he will be back to his best soon.


    The brilliance of Shaheen Shah Afridi at the PSL

    I am very excited about working with Shaheen Shah Afridi in the coming series and in the future. He is only 17 years old, but he has tremendous potential in my opinion. What he needs to do to maximise his potential is to work hard on his fitness and skills. He is part of the squad that will play against the West Indies so hopefully we shall see him at close quarters and work with him to see if he can help him move up to the next level. The wonderful thing about him is that he is young, he can bowl at 140Kph and he can bowl reverse swing. He will need to work on his new ball skills and also to bring more variation into his bowling which will make him into a complete package.

    In addition, we saw Umaid Asif bowling so well for Peshawar Zalmi as did Hussain Talat and Amad Butt who bowled with good pace as well. Mohammad Sami at his age was also bowling with good pace which was again very pleasing. Like I said, each team had proper bowling line-ups and they each had some excellent performers within their squads.


    Rahat Ali defied his critics in the PSL

    One bowler that really surprised many at the PSL was Rahat Ali. We all saw how well he bowled with the new ball at the start of the innings and then came back towards the end of the innings where he bowled yorkers and other variations with a lot of success. He also bowled with good pace and more importantly, with a lot of control. His performances in the PSL were surely food for thought for those who consider him a Test specialist only.


    Bowling resources looking good ahead of the 2019 World Cup

    These are good signs for us as we are about a year-and-a-half away from the World Cup in England. Based on what we have seen in the PSL, we are now in a position to discuss with the selection committee to see who the best choices are amongst these bowlers for Tests, ODIs and T20Is. This would help us rotate the personnel between games more effectively as well. So, the plan now is that after the end of the West Indies series, the team management will sit together with the selectors to discuss how best to look after the workload of the bowlers and plan ahead for the World Cup.


    Mohammad Amir should look to give up County cricket and T20 leagues instead of reducing international cricket

    Mickey Arthur and I have spoken about the recent remarks by Mohammad Amir about playing less cricket and we can sympathise with him on the issue as he came back to playing cricket after 5 years and was thrust into the limelight. Also he had to play almost all the games in all formats for Pakistan since his return. In between, he has also played County cricket as well as other Twenty20 leagues. My advice to Amir, if he wishes to give himself a break from back-to-back cricket is to not play County or Twenty20 league cricket and instead concentrate on playing international cricket in all formats. This is simply because he is young, he has potential and if he looks after himself, he can go a long way without a doubt. Amir now has to make the final decision on this but as the team management, we will speak to him and guide him to come to a conclusion which is best for him and is in the best interests of Pakistan cricket.


    Excited about return of international cricket in Karachi

    It was an absolute pleasure to recently watch a high-quality game of cricket being played in Karachi after a period of 9 years. I have fond memories of the National Stadium where I have played games in the past. The Karachi crowds are amazing and they, like all of Pakistan, want to see international cricket being played in their city. We had international games being played in Lahore last year and it is wonderful that international cricket is also returning to Karachi very soon with the upcoming T20I series against the West Indies. It will be a short series but what I would like to see is a great set of games which will allow us to give a bit more to the people of Karachi. What it also means is that another venue for playing international cricket would have been restored in Pakistan which will mean that more matches can take place in future. These are all good signs for Pakistan cricket. As I have said before, cricket in Pakistan will only become stronger when our people see their heroes playing against international teams at their own home grounds.


    Cricket Australia deserve kudos for handling the ball-tampering scandal

    It's obviously a sad time for international cricket and is very disappointing for me as a former cricketer that this ball-tampering issue has come to light and it is something which none of us would like to see happening in cricket. We have now seen the sanctions imposed on the three players which is the right decision and a brave one from Cricket Australia. Without going into details of the other such incidents that have taken place before, let me say that when you are under pressure on a cricket field, your mind does get cloudy and the 3 players took some bad decisions. They even lost that Test match as well which also made them the target of ridicule which, to me, is not right. The 12-month suspensions for Steve Smith and David Warner and the 9-month suspension for Cameron Bancroft by CA have been imposed to set an example to deter others from doing the same. The Australian players are treated as heroes and role-models and so the actions by CA have been taken to ensure that this does not happen again. What is important here is that CA have shown to the world that no one, and absolutely no one, is bigger than the game itself and this is probably a lesson that many others can pay heed to as well.


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  2. #2
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    Wow. Impressed with the interview. Hit all the right notes.

  3. #3
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    Very good points from him. But to be honest I feel like all the selectors and coaches involved with national team should be made to sit and watch PSL live and should be given a hands off job to see and observe the players. It would be refreshing for players to work with other coaches for a month who can highlight other issues with the players techniques etc and can pass them to the coaches for the national team.

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    He has to make up 5 years of income.

    No way will Amir give up T20 and/or county cricket.


    May the Hawks Fly Forever. Lightning Hawks CC -- Team Thread.

  5. #5
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    No mention of Faheem Ashraf the top wicket taker

  6. #6
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    If Amir was indeed a world class bowler I would encourage the PCB to compensate him for giving up T-20 and county Cricket. But since he is in reality an average bowler, no need. Let him decide what is best for him. He is not worth the pampering.

  7. #7
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    A break from national duties has done wonders for Wahab. He looked in form of his life at PSL, was clearly the best pacer. If me maintained his current form and fitness, he could be a vital part of Pak attack in 2019 WC.
    Don't think Rahat can of any use in limited over cricket, not fit and fast enough and a liability in fielding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    If Amir was indeed a world class bowler I would encourage the PCB to compensate him for giving up T-20 and county Cricket. But since he is in reality an average bowler, no need. Let him decide what is best for him. He is not worth the pampering.
    This point. Totally agree

  9. #9
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    Wow very good interview.Good to see him mentioning wahab it seems he has watched all the match wahab was the best bowler of the tournament. he bowled with brain and variations and all he was brilliant he should have been in the squad.Disappointed hopefully he makes the comeback soon.Rahat was also very good with new ball and his control was good too.Happy for rahat.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauntless View Post
    Wow very good interview.Good to see him mentioning wahab it seems he has watched all the match wahab was the best bowler of the tournament. he bowled with brain and variations and all he was brilliant he should have been in the squad.Disappointed hopefully he makes the comeback soon.Rahat was also very good with new ball and his control was good too.Happy for rahat.
    Wahab has been brilliant in the other PSL seasons as well. Don't be fooled by his performances. He is only needed in Test Cricket, we don't need him in ODI's and T-20's, he is going to again come up with 100 runs in 10 overs performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    Wahab has been brilliant in the other PSL seasons as well. Don't be fooled by his performances. He is only needed in Test Cricket, we don't need him in ODI's and T-20's, he is going to again come up with 100 runs in 10 overs performance.
    Spot on with this - great performer in the domestic scene but only performs once a year when he's playing internationals. A poor man's Mitchell Johnson really.

  12. #12
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    Rest Amir for meangliness T20s and dead rubber ODIs. We don't play loads of cricket so he gets enough rest but if You want to rest him these are the games I would rest him for.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    Rest Amir for meangliness T20s and dead rubber ODIs. We don't play loads of cricket so he gets enough rest but if You want to rest him these are the games I would rest him for.
    ODI's and T-20's are where the money is.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    ODI's and T-20's are where the money is.

    He doesn't need to play the 3rd ODI against Zimbabwe if the series is already won.

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    5 years without cricket and the young man wants to skip some Test matches - what a load of nonsense.

    Frankly I wouldn't pick any player for Pakistan who wants to pick and choose which matches he will play in.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    5 years without cricket and the young man wants to skip some Test matches - what a load of nonsense.

    Frankly I wouldn't pick any player for Pakistan who wants to pick and choose which matches he will play in.
    Agreed Saj!

    One thing I need a clarification on: In the interview Amir gives an impression that he wants to pick and choose test matches and where and what he plays . . in the same interview he talks about "introducing rotation policy that exists in every team" . . These are 2 very different things! Rotation policy and picking and choosing test matches are 2 completely different ideas . . In the same vein, he talks about already having a conversation with Mickey Arthur . . However, this interview with Azhar Mahmood shows that Mickey Arthur and Azhar Mahmood will have a "talk" with Amir and that nothing has been "agreed in principle" . . so I am confused about what this whole thing actually means . . . .

    Nevertheless!

    I think there are a few things that Amir needs to be reminded of:

    1.) 5 years without cricket . . yes! But . . 2 years playing cricket now . . consistently . . when would this "5 year exodus" stop being a talking point behind every Amir fallacy! . . It is no longer applicable . . He has been playing at the highest level for 2 years now!

    2.) If he isn't aware already, someone needs to remind him that his performance hasn't been anything more than ordinary in the time that he has been back . . I am stating facts! We can wipe out the first year due to the aforementioned 5 year absence . . His second year stats are hardly anything to write home about either . . His test match stats are the worst! In this time, he has played 4 tests in England, 2 tests in NZ, 3 in Australia where typically fast bowlers take major chunk of the wickets . .

    3.) He is 24! not 34! . . He hasn't even hit the age where fast bowlers typically peak . . Even if he has hid his age by a couple of years . . he is still very young!

    4.) The fact that he is thinking of letting go of test matches for me shows 3 things:
    a.) He has succumbed to the fact that he has not been good enough in test matches . . he has shown glimpses but hasn't been consistent . . and he feels that he can't improve (either for fitness reasons, or skills) . .
    b.) He has accepted that he has lost 5 years of income, and he'd rather be playing the shorter formats, preserve his fitness and make money . .
    c.) He has lost the drive that is necessary to succeed at the pinnacle of the game (test cricket) . . he just doesn't want to work hard enough to be fit enough to be a force to be reckoned with in test cricket . .

    My conclusion is that unfortunately, it seems that Amir despite having the built, pace and skills to be the best there is, just doesn't have the hunger to be the best!

    Disclaimer: I have always been a huge admirer of Mohammad Amir and his skills . . I have always believed that he is an outstanding bowler . . but I am also disappointed at his returns, but more disappointed to see his lack of drive and hunger!

  17. #17
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    Good points but for the wrong bowler. Hassan Ali should be the one who should skip these meaningless leagues. However he should play two seasons in county cricket to prepare himself for the world cup and test cricket.
    Last edited by Bhaag Viru Bhaag; 1st April 2018 at 09:21.

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    Azhar spitting fire Hope Amir takes notice or the PCB will need to increase their financial package

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Azhar spitting fire Hope Amir takes notice or the PCB will need to increase their financial package
    Amir is no Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib that the PCB compensates him. The PCB should tell to take a hike

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    5 years without cricket and the young man wants to skip some Test matches - what a load of nonsense.

    Frankly I wouldn't pick any player for Pakistan who wants to pick and choose which matches he will play in.
    The PCB has to now realize that they are not really getting a return on their investment when they decided to fast track him from his 5 year ban.

  21. #21
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    Amir in his element in T20Is it seems.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    5 years without cricket and the young man wants to skip some Test matches - what a load of nonsense.

    Frankly I wouldn't pick any player for Pakistan who wants to pick and choose which matches he will play in.
    Did Amir say this?
    A while back he rejected such claims.
    Also dont get it why azhar says such stuff and then says we need to talk internally?

    There are lots of other things he can talk about, like how on earth is ahmed the blocker shezad in the t20 squad.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    5 years without cricket and the young man wants to skip some Test matches - what a load of nonsense.

    Frankly I wouldn't pick any player for Pakistan who wants to pick and choose which matches he will play in.
    Lets face it, test cricket is almost dead. LOIs are the future and where vast majority of the audience actually can spend time on. So not a surprise to see Amir preferring that.

    To be frank though, Amir has been ordinary in tests so losing him or him playing less is no big deal in that format.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    The PCB has to now realize that they are not really getting a return on their investment when they decided to fast track him from his 5 year ban.
    Fair point, he's been pretty poor in Tests since his comeback.



  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistani pride View Post
    Did Amir say this?
    A while back he rejected such claims.
    Also dont get it why azhar says such stuff and then says we need to talk internally?

    There are lots of other things he can talk about, like how on earth is ahmed the blocker shezad in the t20 squad.
    End of the day it's Azhar's blog and he can say what he wants in it. I'd rather someone spoke their mind than just saying the obvious things.



  26. #26
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    Amir will do well in Tests in a 5-man bowling attack.

    You can't play him in a four man attack and expect him to bowl 20-25 overs everyday.


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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    End of the day it's Azhar's blog and he can say what he wants in it. I'd rather someone spoke their mind than just saying the obvious things.
    Of course he can but did Amir actually say this? Is there a video or direct quote him saying this about tests.

  28. #28
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    Amir shouldn't play in county.

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    Amirs not gonna give up T20 cricket. Thats the go to easy cash for the cricketers. Forget T20, I doubt Amir will even leave T10.

    Any how, I wouldn't mind Amir giving up Tests. Rahat Ali is any way a better option in Tests these days and I think Shaheen Afridi can be fast tracked into the test team.


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    Another 'Big' series for Amir.

    Not been the same in Test cricket since his comeback has he?



  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Another 'Big' series for Amir.

    Not been the same in Test cricket since his comeback has he?
    If he can’t produce the goods in early English summer against an iffy top order and a test debut nation he never will

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    Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood reveals plans for Ireland, England tour

    Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood believes the team’s pacers are fit and raring to go when they visit Ireland and later England on a Test tour next month.

    Mahmood, while talking to The Express Tribune, said Pakistan are not relying on pace this time around in English conditions, and will instead be focusing on technique.

    “The pacers who have been selected have all been playing quite a bit of cricket lately and they are all in form,” he said. “The fitness tests have shown that the players are fit and will hopefully be available throughout the series.”

    He added that every player, including pace spearheads Muhammad Amir and Hasan Ali, is required to bowl with their minds rather than just using brute force to see out the Tests.

    “This is a game of minds and you have to tire the batsman out and then attack his weak areas to dismiss him,” he said. “These players will be really suitable to the conditions in England and Ireland where our focus would be to use less pace and more technique.”

    The Pakistani bowling line-up, apart from Ali and Amir, includes Muhammad Abbas, Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf and spinner Shadab Khan, while all-rounder Haris Sohail will also be another spin-bowling option.

    The team will be playing two practice matches against Ireland — the two-day games will be played on April 23-24 at Merrion Cricket Club and April 26-27 at Pembroke CC — before they play the lone Test match from May 11-15 at The Village in Dublin.

    The head coach of Ireland Graham Ford has announced two squads for the two practice matches to be played against Pakistan and Mahmood says the practice matches will come in handy in helping the team prepare for the main encounters.

    “Playing practice matches in Ireland will help the players get used to the conditions and adapt to them. The conditions in Ireland and England are similar which will help Pakistan before they play the main matches,” he said.

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1692382...-england-tour/


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    Will Azhar Mahmood or PCB compensate Aamir?so easy to be nationalistic when it’s not you who going to lose lots of money.

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