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How Wasim Akram perfected bowling reverse swing in his jeans

wasim akram reverse
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Wasim Akram left quite the impression during his time in county cricket with Lancashire.

While they never managed to secure the County Championship during his 11-year spell with the county, Lancashire were one of the most successful white-ball sides in the country throughout Akram’s stay at Old Trafford. One of Akram’s most famous traits was his ability to reverse swing the ball and on a recent Sky Sports Cricket Watchalong, David Lloyd, Akram’s coach at Lancashire during the mid-90s, explained how Akram would work on this skill in his own unique way.

Lloyd said: “When I was involved at Lancs [Lancashire], we’ve all been through this when you’re having a net session and the players are saying, ‘The balls are rubbish, look at these.’ Wasim Akram used to look in the ball bag and just come out with the worst ball he could find, a real scruffy ball so he could practise reverse swing. All the rest of the lads would say, ‘Look at these, we can’t bowl with these – we want some new balls,’ and Akram would look at the bag and bring one out and would just work on that skill of reverse swing.

“He was funny, he was great. He would ring up sometimes and just say, ‘I’m in for one hour [to] bowl.’ He’d turn up in his jeans. He’d turn up in a pair of jeans and bowl in the nets for an hour with a young fella he brought over with him from Lahore. He brought this chap over and he sort of looked after the house. He was a cleaner, a janitor – he did all sorts of things. He brought him in to bat. This lad was absolutely hopeless.”

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