Lanka have pace, need swing: Wasim Akram

Karachi [Pakistan], Dec.2 : Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram, who has recently been roped in as Sri Lanka's bowling consultant, has insisted that although the Angelo Mathews-led side did not lack in raw pace, there is a need to develop the ability to swing the ball.

Akram's comments came after spending several hours with the national team's main established strike bowlers and promising youngsters in a day-long coaching session at the Sinhalese Sports Club ( SSC) Ground in Colombo.

Following the session, the 50-year-old admitted that Sri Lanka consist of some of the promising crop of fast bowlers despite their traditional reliance on spin.

"Most of the bowlers had a pace of 130 to 140 kmph [kilometres per hour]," said Wasim, who himself bowled at a similar pace when he was one of the world's leading bowlers in all formats of the game.

Akram, however, insisted that he could not find the reason as to why Lankan fast bowlers are finding it difficult to thrive on slower tracks as long as they had the right tricks up the sleeve.

"The idea is to teach them how to believe in themselves and how to fox out the batsmen," the Dawn quoted Akram, as saying.

Wasim was joined at the SCC by Sri Lanka's legendary cricketers Aravinda de Silva and Chaminda Vaas, who both had played against the Pakistan swing king.

Considered as one of the best pacers ever to grace the game, Akram bagged a total of 414 Test wickets and 502 scalps in 356 ODIs.

Earlier, Sri Lanka Cricket Chief Thilanga Sumathipala had said that they had invited Wasim to mentor the players for the next two years and visit the island at least twice a year.

"We have invited him to be with us in the next two years as our consultant in pace bowling," Sumathipala had said.

Wasim's first assignment will be Sri Lanka's upcoming tour of South Africa, featuring a three-match Test series, three T20Is and five ODIs starting from December 26 at St. George's Oval in Port Elizabeth. (ANI)