Thatscricket - News - Akram keen to make amends

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai: Pakistani veteran Wasim Akram says he is raring to go against India in the Sharjah cricket tournament to be held in April while denying any immediate plans to retire from international cricket."I am looking forward to playing against the Indians at Sharjah. It has been a long time since we played against them," the 34-year-old all-rounder was quoted as saying in a Jeddah-based English daily.Wasim, the only bowler to capture 400 wickets, Test and One-day cricket, said the cancellation of the Test series against India came as a "real disappointment" for him. India were to tour Pakistan for a three-Test and five One-day International series, which was to commence in December last year. However, the Indian government refused to allow the Indian team to visit the neighbouring country. The government has taken the stand that there is no point in having sporting links with Pakistan unless it stops encouraging terrorism in India. India and Pakistan had last played against each other in the Coca Cola Cup in March last year in Sharjah. Wasim insisted that he had reached no secret deal with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to retire after Pakistan's tour of England this summer. "I have no such understanding with the board and in fact PCB Chairman Gen Tauqir Zia has always been very positive whenever I have met him."The ace all-rounder said he would like to continue playing as long as he could and refused to give any timeframe when he intended to retire."I have always maintained that I would like to continue playing as long as I enjoy the game and as long as I can contribute something to the team. When I might decide to retire, it is difficult to say," the former Pakistani skipper said. Wasim said he was satisfied that even the PCB had been very positive with him and its chairman had always told him that his services were required by the team. "It has been heartening to read the statements from the PCB chairman and the new manager about myself. It is good to know you are wanted in Pakistan cricket," he added.Admitting that he did not have a good domestic series against England, he said he was keen to make amends on the coming tours to New Zealand and Sharjah.UNI

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