Fast-bowling great Waqar Younis has come in for scathing criticism from wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, who accused the former national coach of causing damage to Pakistan cricket. Kamran, a veteran of 53 Tests and 157 one-day internationals, blasted Waqar for being an abject failure in his two separate tenures as head coach in 2010-2011 and 2014- 2016.
"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 Channel last night.
It is the first time that a current Pakistan player has come out and openly criticized Waqar, who was forced to step down as head coach after Pakistan fared poorly in the last World T20 in India.
"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," Kamran said.
The senior player also blamed Waqar for not allowing quite a few players to settle down in the team.
"I remember Umar Akmal scored a hundred in an 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."
Kamran pointed out that in Waqar's tenure Pakistan slipped down the ICC rankings in all formats.
"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 noted.
Kamran said that the authorities should have learned from Waqar's first tenure as head coach.
"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."
Kamran noted that when he was recalled to the Pakistan team earlier this year for the tour to West Indies, Waqar questioned his selection and the need to have two keepers in the side.
"The best part is that Waqar as a coach himself kept two keepers in the side," he noted.