Kent first team spin prospect Imran Qayyum is spending a few weeks in Pakistan in preparation for the new season and sent this update from south Asia…
So far the work in Lahore has been eye opening. I began by working with the Pakistan Cricket Team at Gaddafi Stadium, bowling to the 2015 World Cup squad under the watchful eye of Mushtaq Ahmed (Pakistan spin coach), getting advice and coaching from him was great.
Due to bad weather I’ve only played one club game for MP GYMKHANA CC. It was a reduced overs game of 35 overs. In which I bowled 7 overs for 10 runs and 2 wickets.
With the opposition requiring 2 runs off the last ball, a run out tied the game as they attempted to run a 2 to mid-on!
Conditions were slow and low thus providing an opportunity to bowl in difficult conditions to good players of spin.
Moreover because of the limited availability of suitable training facilities in Lahore, Mushtaq Ahmed and former Pakistan and Surrey seamer Mohammad Akram (National Cricket Academy Head Coach) provided me with access to National Cricket Academy.
The NCA is situated next to Gaddafi stadium and acts as the primary training base for the Pakistan National team, Pakistan A as well as the Under 19s.
Working in the NCA has provided me with an opportunity meet and talk cricket with many world class cricketers such as Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal. Luckily both were very open to questions and gave me their valuable time for one-one coaching to help me with with various aspects of spin bowling; training methods, tactics and variations.
Both stressed the importance of control and consistency as well as the necessity of having an array of variations.
The most surprising variation I was shown and taught by Ajmal was to swing the ball both ways with a spinners trajectory. Another common advice provided by a lot of the spinners I have met so far has been to play around with variations and come up with a mystery variation of my own.
The remaining time in Lahore is going to consist of continuing my development at the NCA so that I can spend more time with the best of cricketers Pakistan has to offer. As well as playing the local one-day and T20 competitions to gain match practice.