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Flashback: Azhar’s T20 Camp, Day 4

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Pakistan Twenty20 specialist Azhar Mahmood is hosting the second edition of his T20 camp at the ICC Academy from the 8th to the 12th of February, 2015.

The maiden version of his camp was held in October and November last year, and it overwhelming success rate has seen it come back to Dubai by popular demand.

There will be plenty on offer for cricketing enthusiasts in the region if last year is anything to go by.

If the presence of one star at the Academy saw people flock to it, the presence of a second saw them arrive in droves. On Day 4 of the T20 camp, Pakistan cricket legend Wasim Akram joined Azhar to impart his unique, irreplaceable knowledge to the kids.

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On the day, the Academy’s young charges were schooled in the art of fielding near the covers, as they were taught the nuances of stopping boundaries and saving crucial runs for their team: small, incremental successes that often pave the path to victory.

Wasim Akram knows just how vital this technique is. “Every youngster, wherever I’ve been, they talk about how to bowl, how to bat and he (Azhar Mahmood) is the right man (to teach them) and I’m here to assist Azhar,” he explained.

“Obviously, I’ve been associated with T20 for the last four years, not as a player but as a coach and it is a different mindset to One Day cricket and obviously, Test cricket,” continued Wasim. “I think it is a great event and he’s doing a good job as well. This is something very different, something very needed, I suppose.

“The mindset of a batsman was ‘hit a boundary, take a single’, but now ‘hit a boundary, second ball, hit a bigger boundary’ so the mindset is changing,” he added. “Before, we’ve seen that 150, 160 was an unbeatable total in a T20 format, but now you see, 180, 190, even 200 is not enough because like I said, the mindset of the bowlers and the batsmen are changing big time”.

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They were also given lessons on quick running between the wickets and were instructed in being assertive and aggressive in order to maintain a steady, quick flow of runs on the pitch, formative training that will hold them in good stead for the coming years.

The duo also spent time with the Pakistan National Team, fine-tuning the country’s bowlers’ actions so that they’re able to bowl lethal, more precise deliveries in the future.

“Wasim Akram is the master,” were the succinct words of Azhar Mahmood. “He was always there for me when I needed him, so he helped me a lot when I was playing. He was one of the captains I played under the longest.”

“He is an icon so I found that during my T20 camp, Wasim has to be there and I’ve requested him and I’ve thanked him for helping me and it is a great opportunity for these guys to learn something from the great man,” he finished.

Azhar Mahmood’s T20 camp is from the 8th to the 12th of February from 7pm to 9pm. To register or enquire further, please call +971 (0)4 4481355 or visit the ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City.

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