Karachi: Discarded Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal believes that only a foreign coach can turn the national team into a fighting unit and world beaters after the sudden resignation of Waqar Younis.

Akmal, who guided his domestic team National bank to the Ramazan Twenty20 Cup trophy on Saturday night, said he was surprised to learn that Waqar had resigned from the coaching post citing personal reasons.

"It came as a total surprise for many people including myself. But I think now the solution is a foreign coach. I have played under Bob Woolmer and Geoff Lawson and I can vouch that a foreign coach is the best possible option for the national team," said Akmal, who fell out of favour with the PCB and national selectors after the World Cup.

"Woolmer did a great job with the team and communicated well with all the players. During his tenure, Pakistan was among the top three Test and one-day international teams," he added.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has said it will soon start deliberations on appointing a new coach as there is still two months time before the series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.

The board has not ruled out the option of a foreign coach but due to security conditions in the country, foreign teams and coaches have been reluctant to remain in Pakistan.

Akmal said Waqar's resignation was totally unexpected. "I really don't know what happened but if he has health problems I pray to God he gets better as soon as possible."

The upcoming tour of Zimbabwe will be Waqar's last assignment with the national team. The 39-year-old took over the reins from Intikhab Alam in March 2010 after Pakistan's disastrous tour of Australia where it failed to win a single game.

Former captain and wicketkeeper, Rashid Latif felt that the resignation of Waqar had come at a very wrong time for Pakistan cricket.

"The team is in a transition phase and some young players have been inducted into the side so I don't think this was the right time for him to go. I don't know the reasons for his resignation but certainly it was unexpected."

"Waqar did well at a time when Pakistan cricket was facing so many problems. It would have been better if he had completed his contract with the board because we have so many important and tough series coming up in the next few months. It is really a very bad time for him to go," added Latif.

The former captain said if the PCB offers him a chance to coach the national team, he would give it a serious thought.

"Why not? I have been deeply involved in coaching and it would be a big challenge working with the Pakistan team," he said.

(Agencies)