Once the most feared bowling partnership, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram will be reunited at the PSL’s newest franchise Multan Sultans. Younis will be the franchise’s mentor and head coach, while Akram will take the role of cricket operations director after deciding to leave Islamabad United. The official signing of the agreement, ESPNcricinfo understands, is expected to take place in Karachi in the third week of August.
Akram spent two contrasting seasons with United, including winning the championship during the inaugural tournament in 2015. However, their second season suffered after three of their key players – Mohammad Irfan, Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan – were embroiled in a corruption scandal and were suspended. It is learnt that United captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who recently retired from international cricket, was being considered to act as a mentor to fill in for Akram.
Younis, who has had two stints with Pakistan as the national head coach, was originally ignored for the first two seasons of the PSL. But with the addition of a sixth team for the third season, he was approached in June to join Multan – which is owned by The Schön Group, a Dubai-based enterprise, well-established in the real-estate business in Pakistan. After the coaching stint with Pakistan, Younis appeared on various TV networks as a commentator.
Both Akram and Younis dominated world cricket in the 1990s with their fear-inducing bowling, but the duo often shared a strained relationship during their playing days. In the 61 Tests that the two played together, they took 559 wickets between them. Akram took 282 wickets, and Younis, 277. They are the third most prolific fast-bowling duo after Curtly Ambrose-Courtney Walsh and James Anderson-Stuart Broad.
Over the years, both players moved on from their past rift, with Younis once expressing regret on having a troubled relation with Akram. This PSL venture with Multan will be the first time they will work together since their retirements in 2003.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.