Zahid wants to see Pakistan producing greats like Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib

ISLAMABAD, Aug 24 (APP): National High Performance Centre (NHPC), fast-bowling coach Mohammad Zahid wants to see Pakistan producing greats like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar, saying there was incredible talent in the country that just needs guidance to produce the right results.

“I see this as a great opportunity to work with fast-bowlers in Pakistan of varying ages and varying levels of experience. I’m really looking forward to the challenge and it gives me a chance to share my experiences, both good and bad with the bowlers that I will be working with,” quoted him as saying.

Pakistan is blessed with great resources when it comes to the art of fast-bowling, but, this talent needs to be guided to produce the right results and this was exactly what Zahid, who was recently appointed at NHPC in Lahore, was looking forward to doing in his new role.

“There’s an incredible amount of pace-bowling talent in Pakistan, you just have to nurture that talent, guide it and then let it flourish. I’ve always believed that natural flair and ability should be allowed to blossom and not curtailed. As a coach, you should be there to guide and to get the best out of the players, without overhauling a player’s natural ability.”

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Whilst the emergence of the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Musa and Mohammad Hasnain has rekindled hopes of a resurgence of Pakistan as a fast-bowling powerhouse, Zahid hopes to play a pivotal role in bringing many more such talented bowlers to the fore.

“I want to see Pakistan producing Wasim Akrams, Waqar Younis’ and Shoaib Akhtars once again. I want to help Pakistan cricket produce great fast bowlers and be the best in the world when it comes to pace-bowling. I feel that we have not been at the levels of yesteryear when it comes to pace-bowling talent in recent times and that needs to change.”

Zahid, whose international career consisted of just 5 Tests and 11 ODIs, was determined to ensure that the younger players were given the right guidance for better and brighter futures.

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“My career ended prematurely, and it still hurts me that I did not fulfil my ambitions. I did undoubtedly learn some harsh lessons as a result of my career ending much earlier than I had envisaged and I hope to share what went well and what did not go so well in my career with the current fast bowlers in Pakistan. It’s important that young cricketers learn from former players and how their careers progressed so they can realise that hard work pays off and the good days don’t last forever,” he said.

The former pacer also expressed his pleasure at being given the opportunity to serve his country once again. “I’m delighted that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given me a chance to work at the NHPC. Whilst living in the UK I have been obtaining my coaching badges with the aim of one day working for PCB and giving back something to cricket in my country. That opportunity has finally come, and I can’t wait to get started in the role,” he said.