Wasim arrives to lock horns with Lloyd

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The Independent Online
Wasim Akram and David Lloyd may have switched camps but they are still both striving for a common goal as Pakistan embark on their first tour of England for four years.

A year ago they were both focused on bringing silverware back to Old Trafford. Now Lloyd has taken his unconventional coaching methods to England and Wasim is captaining Pakistan on their first trip to these shores since the acrimonious "ball tampering" tour of 1992.

"Fielding has been one of the main criteria for selection on this tour," said Wasim on his arrival with the rest of the 17-strong party in Birmingham yesterday. "Our fielding has let us down in the past and it is something we have been working on for the last three or four years. Some days we do well but on others we lose our concentration and drop catches."

Wasim will be competing against a number of his Lancashire team-mates - England captain Mike Atherton, Peter Martin and possibly John Crawley and Glen Chapple - in the forthcoming three Tests and one-day international series, not to mention locking horns with the irrepressible Lloyd.

"David Lloyd is one of the best coaches I have played under," Wasim said. "It will be difficult playing against my former team-mates but it is not Lancashire I am playing against. It is like playing against your friend and I am sure it will be a healthy contest."

Cordial relations were also the theme of the tour manager, Yawar Saeed. "We intend to play the game in its best traditions - we are hoping for a trouble-free tour," he said. "I am not interested in spending much time on history. I was a bad student of history so I tend to forget it. We hope you will judge us on today and tomorrow and not what has happened in the past."