Cricket Director Waqar Younis

waqar
NationalityPakistan
Current TeamIslamabad United

Looking at the calm bespectacled version of Waqar Younis that sat in Pakistan’s dressing room so often over the past decade it is easy to forget that this man was once the most feared bowler in the world. A man capable of breaking toes, heads and stumps, with the old ball or new, there have been few pacemen with the impact that Waqar had in the first half of the 90s.

Yet the second half of his career was perhaps more significant for his post-playing career. Waqar went from an elite genuine pace bowler to an old-fashioned outswing fast medium bowler who relied on the new ball rather than the old. That change was a window into his understanding of the art of pace bowling: a reminder that beyond the stereotype not all pacemen are mere brutes.

Thus, it wasn’t a surprise that barely three years on from his retirement he was appointed Pakistan’s bowling coach under Bob Woolmer, and aided in the development of Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul. Over the course of the next decade Waqar would become Pakistan’s go-to coach, serving two stints, with the national team, playing a chief role in the development of several young pacers, including Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan, and laying the platform for Pakistan’s conquering of England in 2012, and the run up to their ownership of the Test mace in 2016. As Pakistan became nomads it was Waqar and Misbah who kept them relevant and fighting when the odds were stacked against them.

While his limited overs record paled in comparison to the achievements of his teams in whites, he still led the national team to a World Cup semi-final.

In the T20 league circuit he has been contracted with several franchises throughout the world, most significantly with the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who finished with the best bowling numbers (including the best economy rate) in the 2013 IPL, the season when he was their bowling coach.