Akram has joined the squad and conducted a day-long coaching clinic in Colombo today.
Akram rated Sri Lanka as one of the best cricket playing nation and said that it brought back nostalgic memories when he represented the Pakistan under 23 team against Sri Lanka under 23 in 1986. After spending several hours with the national team's main established strike bowlers and promising youngsters, Akram said there was no lack of raw pace but they needed to develop their ability to swing the ball.
Former Sri Lanka great Aravinda de Silva said that it was highly competitive playing against a player of Akram's calibre who could move the ball with subtle changes of pace that makes him one of the most hard customers to deal with. He holds the world record for most wickets in List A cricket with 881 and is second only to Sri Lankan off-spin bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of ODI wickets with 502.
Akram, however, insisted that he could not find the reason as to why Lankan fast bowlers are finding it hard to thrive on slower tracks as long as they had the right tricks up the sleeve.
The former Pakistan captain is in Sri Lanka these days on the invitation of the country's cricket board to groom the young crop of fast bowlers. "The idea now is to teach them to plan and outfox the batsmen", Akram said. "The invaluable insight our players can gain from the vast reservoir of knowledge and expertise of world cricket's legends will provide them with the store of game-knowledge they will need", said Thilanga Sumathipala, the president of Sri Lanka Cricket.
"We have invited him to be with us in the next two years as our consultant in pace bowling", said Sumathipala. Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three-match Test series, three T20Is and five ODIs beginning at St. George's Oval on December 26.