Rural settings potent pace factories: Aaqib

Former Pakistan fast-bowler Aaqib Javed believes that open spaces and abundance of playing fields is necessary for the growth of cricketers who choose a life of pace bowling.


Aaqib, who grew up in the rural area of Sheikhupura, said aspiring fast bowlers required freedom to express their ability and that it was only possible when they were nurtured in a supportive environment.

“For fast bowling you need to find an environment that helps you go wild,” he said while talking to ESPNCricinfo.

“You need fields and parks where you can run around and do different things.”

Aaqib, who recently resigned as the UAE coach after a successful stint with the team, likened rural environments to potent pace factories as compared to metropolitan settings.

Pakistan has produced the likes of Waqar Younis, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir, who grew up in rural towns of Burewala, Sheikhupura and Gujar Khan respectively.

“I think it’s really hard to produce fast bowlers in metropolitan cities, where you live in an apartment, take the bus to school, and go to the academy for two hours,” said Aaqib, who won the 1992 World Cup for Pakistan under Imran Khan’s leadership.

“That’s why it’s really important for everyone to go beyond the cities, go to the villages and other environments that are completely open, to look for fast bowlers and groom them.”

The former Pakistan assistant coach is also in contention to be named as the national team’s new head coach after Waqar Younis resigned from the position in March.

“I still remember I spent a good amount of time in my village where we used to chop things, cut trees, jump into canals,” he said.

“All this wildness, just for fun,” added Aaqib.