Akif wants to follow in Shoaib, Amir footprints

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Islamabad

All set to represent Pakistan in the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup, Karak-born left-arm pacer Akif Javed, was inspired by Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Amir and deems to emulate their feats.
Akif who hails from Karak, was a discovery of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) Remote Areas Programme would be a part of the Pakistan team to take part in the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup scheduled to be played in Bangladesh later this month, said a press release issued here. Akif made a big impression in the recently concluded National Twenty20 tournament in Faisalabad where he took nine wickets in seven games including figures of three for 16 in one game for Balochistan. His side narrowly lost the tournament final to Northern.
Akif was inspired by Shoaib Akhtar and wanted to emulate his feats. ‘I entered the National T20 with the aim of becoming the fastest bowler in the world. My most memorable wicket of the tournament was Mohammad Hafeez’s,’ he said.
Akif who was informed by his mother of his selection in the Asia Cup squad said among the present lot, Amir was his favourite bowler. ‘I want to swing the ball like he does at a good pace,’ he said.
Akif said the coaches at NCA worked hard on him. ‘The Remote Areas camp helped many youngsters like me and we might see many other stars emerge from these activities in the future,’ he said.
Pakistan squad for Asia Cup includes Saud Shakeel (captain), Rohail Nazir (vice-captain) (wicketkeeper), Akif Javed, Amad Butt, Haider Ali, Hasan Mohsin, Imran Rafiq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Asad, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Mohsin, Omair Bin Yousuf, Saif Badar, Sameen Gul and Umar Khan.—APP