Aaqib Javed predicts bright future for fast bowling in Bangladesh
Former Pakistan fast bowler Aaqib Javed believes the emergence of talented young fast bowlers like Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed will inspire the next generation of cricketers in Bangladesh to pursue fast bowling as they will have their own cricketers as role models which, according to the former UAE head coach, is vital to instill the belief that achievements can be made with hard work.
Aaqib, who had earlier rejected an offer by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to be the full-time bowling coach of the national side citing his commitments with Pakistan Super League franchise Lahore Qalandars as their director of cricket operations , is currently in Mirpur after accepting the BCB invite to conduct a specialised High-Performance camp for fast bowlers.
"I think it is a lack of role models," Aaqib said when quizzed about the lack of genuine fast bowling greats in the country till now. "For Bangladeshis, whatever picture or video you show them of a fast bowler, it won't inspire the youngsters unless you show them a Bangladeshi bowling at 145kph. But it has started to happen recently. Three of your guys have been showing youngsters that they can bowl fast. That confidence is there. And this is the beginning.”
"[Back in Pakistan] we used to have only a few fast bowlers but after Imran (Khan) came up as a role model, we never looked back. After Rubel [Hossain], Taskin [Ahmed] and Mustafizur [Rahman], you will have many fast bowlers in the next few years. Your own role models," he added.
Revealing his thoughts on whether a training camp for such a small period will be really beneficial in the long run, Aaqib said that he was keen to impart the knowledge gained from his experience as a player and coach to the next generation of cricketers as well as fellow coaches to make them understand which areas to concentrate upon so that suitable results are obtained after the required time.
"I always believe in the process, which means you can make a difference. In a week, you can transfer some knowledge but you can't actually move them into progression. Sometimes it is difficult to accept something that is not suitable, but I can transfer knowledge, give them a plan and, after three months, I can come and see what levels they have reached,” he said.
"Discussing with the local coaches also, my belief is that some key points should be told to the players while the details should remain with the coaches to discuss. I will try my best to transfer these to the boys. It would not make a difference if I am not around after 6-7 days, but they should know where they are headed."
I don't believe in changing bowlers' actions: Javed
Going into details of his interaction with the seventeen fast bowlers from the High-Performance squad, whom he will be involved with for the first four days of the camp, Aaqib said that the onus on the first day was on increasing the pace by making a few simple adjustments in their bowling stride.
"I don't believe in changing bowlers' actions but I believe in adding something that helps them to bowl fast. Today we focused on speed. You should utilise your capacity. We focused on 1-2 km/h with their running speed, which is momentum, and 1-2 km/h from their front-foot force absorption and balance. And the third point is both your bowling arm and your non-bowling arm [must follow the principles of] pull-and-push theory, which can increase your speed by a further 1-2 km/h. The target is a 5-6 km/h pace increase," he said.
Aaqib feels that it is necessary for every fast bowler to have that one unique quality which will remain his trademark and biggest strength and added that he will be focussing on that aspect on the second day citing the examples of fast bowling legends like Glenn McGrath and Shoaib Akhtar.
"Tomorrow [Monday] we will lead into mental skills and then end with tactics - when to attack, when to bowl variations and what are the variations, and what are the pillars that every bowler should have. We had a very interesting discussion with them about making a trade of yourself. When you are challenging as an international star, you must have something in you to show people, become a product which people can buy,” Aaqib said.
"Shoaib Akhtar had pace. Seam and accuracy like Glenn McGrath. And something like Mustafizur Rahman. Something unusual. You must create something that is sellable, which is your trade. I think six days is a long time to understand and make someone understand," he added.