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Sarfraz ready to coach Indian pacers

Sarfraz ready to coach Indian pacers

The 57-year-old said he had even offered his services to the Indian cricket team when they were in Pakistan.

New Delhi: Pakistani great Sarfraz Nawaz has said he was open to taking up the role of India's fast bowling coach.

The 57-year-old from Lahore said he had even offered his services to the Indian cricket team when they were in Pakistan earlier.

"I was present at the function hosted by the Indian High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Menon. I told coach Greg Chappell and captain Rahul Dravid that either they can come to the Academy in Lahore or I can come there. My offer still stands," Sarfraz said.

The former Pakistani Test bowler is in New Delhi on a brief coaching assignment on the invitation of Delhi and District Cricket Association.

Sarfraz, who has the distinction of scoring 1000 runs and taking 100 wickets, said he would be happy to share his knowledge of reverse swing with the budding Indian bowlers.

"With destiny's blessings, I was able to do it without tampering the ball," said the bowler who is considered the pioneer of the art of reverse swing.

"It needs slight modification in action. One needs to rotate the ball at high speed. I will be teaching them how to use the wind, how to bowl with the wind and against the wind."

"It will also help the upcoming batsmen if they play bowlers who can bowl reverse swing at an early stage in their career," he added.

Sarfraz said bringing shine on one side of the ball itself needed special skills.

"In our days we used to have flannelled trousers which helped to bring the shine easily. Now the players wear polyester trousers so you have to work on the ball accordingly."

He did not believe that one week - the time he will be spending with the Indians - was too short a time to teach the subtle art.

"It is a matter of understanding the technique. It is not a lengthy learning process," he said.

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Sarfraz said he agreed to come to Delhi after he received a phone call from Sunil Dev, DDCA's Sports Secretary, and would be charging no fee for the stint.

Although he was visiting at the behest of DDCA, he was open to help fast bowlers from all over India.

"When the Indian team came to Pakistan in 2004 for the first time in 16 years, they visited the Anarkali market in Lahore. And whichever shop or restaurant they entered, the owners did not charge them. I have come here with the same attitude. I consider it as my duty to help them (the Indian bowlers) improve," he said.

Delhi pacers Ashish Nehra and Ishant Sharma were expected to join the programme after completing the Duleep Trophy final in Kolkata.

He has asked the hosts to prepare three different types of pitches for the coaching programme.

"This will help these bowlers feel at home which ever part of the world they go," Sarfraz said.

first published:November 16, 2006, 23:30 IST