By: Haroon Siddiqi
LAHORE – Pakistan cricket team coach Dav Whatmore has told upcoming fast bowler M Irfan to use his height to extract more pace and bounce that will boost his chances to play for Pakistan in near future, it was learnt here on Wednesday.
Revealing this, Irfan said that having Whatmore as the head coach, it has proved to be an advantage. Whatmore told him that he should try and bowl just like he did in Sri Lanka, said Irfan.
“If I could bowl like that and learn to take full advantage of my height, then I will be a great asset for Pakistan,” said Irfan. Whatmore was a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) coaching squad when Irfan visited Sri Lanka for his KKR trials. Whatmore and the KKR coaching team were so impressed with Irfan’s bowling that they signed him up on the spot, a website quoted Irfan as saying.
Left-arm fast bowler hails from Gaggo Mandi near Sahiwal and represented KRL and Multan Tigers in domestic cricket from Multan, came into lime light during Waqar’s coaching period. He played a few matches for Pakistan and Pakistan ‘A’ teams and on advice of head coach Waqar Younis changed his action to gain more speed that proved harmful for his bowling and was out from the Pakistan team. In between, Irfan continued playing in domestic circuit but could not impress with his bowling and was sidelined. But in the last domestic season, he performed well and again came into limelight and was lucky enough that he was called for fitness test by Whatmore and after monitoring his action and bowling speed, he told him to use his height to get more speed that help him in making a good fast bowler and also enable him to make his way into Pakistan team.
He appeared in fitness test with M Yousuf, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir on Tuesday held at the National Cricket Academy and watched by Dav Whatmore, Fountain Julian and other supporting staff and impressed them with his speed.
On the other hand, Whatmore has planned to have a conditioning camp before the departure of Pakistan team for Sri Lanka in late May and also decided to play some practice matches among the camp probables. Irfan would likely to get a chance to play in these matches to prove his bowling skills with the ball to get a spot in the Pakistan squad.