Akram to review future every 6 months

Published: Sunday, November 26, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore: Renowned pacer Wasim Akram on Sunday said he will review his cricket future every six months as he approaches the milestone of a century of Tests in the second Test against England at Faisalabad.

"Playing 100 Tests will be a great honour and after this distinction I will review my future after every six months," Akram told AFP.

Akram will be the third Pakistani and 23rd cricketer in the world to cross the three-figure mark of Tests. "I want to carry on provided I performance and don't want to linger on in case the performance level drops, never," he said.

Fellow teammates and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) say they will honour Akram in a surprise way during the Faisalabad Test starting on Wednesday.

Akram, given a lifetime achievement award by the PCB last week, stands out with more than 400 wickets in both forms of the game and with two hat tricks each in Tests and One-day internationals.

"For me to give the best is what matters and I would always like to leave when at the top but at this moment I am enjoying and performing," he said.

Present coach Javed Miandad played 124 and Salim Malik, under a life ban on match-fixing allegations, played more than 100 Tests for Pakistan. Breaking into the cricketing scene as an 18-year-old, Akram's burgeoning talent received guidance from legendary paceman Imran Khan and the youngster instantly made his mark in international cricket.

"It's worth playing for Pakistan and I would always love to be Wasim Akram and play for my beloved country if I get another life," he said.

Akram took 10 wickets in only his second Test at Dunedin in the 1984-85 season, still the youngest player to achieve that honour in a Test.

"When I started playing international cricket I had never thought that I would play this much cricket but support from my parents, my wife and above all my countrymen kept me on," he said.

Hailed as great match winner, Akram has known rough times. His name was linked to match-fixing and he was fined 300,000 rupees (about $ 5,000) and censured in Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum's report.

"All through my career the most painful thing was allegations, I gave my 100 per cent and when such things came my way I thought of leaving the game," he said.

"My wife Huma stood firm with me and helped me come out from all pains. Every time such things came they inspired me to put up more hard work," he said.

Soon after Qayyum's report was made public in May, Akram nearly brought the first ever series win for Pakistan in the West Indies.

He took 11 wickets in the match and Pakistan nearly won the Antigua Test and the series in June.

"People should learn that wins and losses are not in our hands, once we wear Pakistan's green cap we give no less than 100 per cent and that should be accepted," he said.

"Playing for Pakistan has always been primary for me and nothing can get above this," he said.

Fellow players revolted against his captaincy in 1993 and Akram had to step down.

"I don't say I have not committed any mistakes, I did but such things hurt me. Still I gave my best when I played as ordinary member," he said. Akram later captained Pakistan from 1996 to February 2000 before announcing he had enough of captaincy.

"Playing in Pakistan's World Cup win in 1992 and captaining Pakistan to the World Cup final in 1999 were two high points of my career," he said.

With 408 wickets in 99 Tests, Akram says now he has no targets but will keep reviewing his career. "I will keep on reviewing my career every six months and if the adrenalin is pumping I will go on," he said.


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