Thatscricket - News - Wasim keen to pass Kapil's Test tally

Published: Monday, January 8, 2001, 21:30 [IST]
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New Delhi: Former Pakistani captain and veteran fast bowler Wasim Akram has ruled out retirement this year and said he had regained the motivation for top class cricket and was keen to pass Kapil Dev's tally of Test wickets by the England tour. ''The last two Test matches were not good for me as I got only two wickets, but in New Zealand and England I will make amends,'' he said. He, however, made it clear he was chasing no targets in One-day Internationals, since he had achieved what he wanted as a bowler. Responding to a recent statement from former Test captain Mushtaq Muhammad that some senior players in the Pakistan side were over the hill for Test cricket and should now concentrate on One-dayers, Akram said everyone had a right to his opinion and he respected Mushtaq's views. ''But I personally don't think I am over the hill for Test cricket. Since I am working hard on my fitness. But definitely in the next few weeks I will take a decision on which sort of cricket I want to concentrate on totally until my retirement, Test or ODIs, '' he was quoted as saying by a website.He admitted that he had reached a stage in his career where he had to make the right choices and also allow younger players a shot at international cricket. ''But till I am competitive as a cricketer, I have no intentions of retiring,'' the former Pakistani skipper who has been the pace spearhead of his side for long, added. Wasim also didn't support the concept of having separate One-day and Test teams in Pakistan cricket as according to him they were not enough quality batsmen in the country. ''It is a good concept but first we should have so many players that we can make choices. At present the number of established and quality batsmen in the country are limited, those who have the technique to adjust to both forms of the game.'' The Pakistan all-rounder reserved his comments on the hiring of Geoffrey Boycott on a 15-day coaching stint for the PCB cricket academy in Lahore, but felt the project should have been launched ten years ago. ''If that had been done today we would have had a pool of 10 to 12 players all capable of playing at the highest level like Australia.'' Akram showered praises on the Steve Waugh-led Australian cricket team for setting new standards in international cricket with 15 consecutive Test victories, but dismissed the argument that the side's achievements had undermined the balance of world cricket. ''There is nothing wrong with Australia winning 15 Test matches in a row or doing something similar in One-dayers, they deserve the success because they have achieved something which none of the other teams have been able to do, consistency in all departments of the game and in all sorts of conditions,'' he said and brushed aside arguments that the Australians had achieved its successes against weak opposition. He said, ''That is rubbish. Pakistan was not a weak opposition when we played them last year in the Test matches. We had our chance to win at Hobart and we didn't take it. Even to win so consistently and regularly against the not so strong sides is a big achievement.'' In the same breath, he expressed regret over the decline in West Indies cricket and believed this was because they did not have quality back-up players. ''Their administrators will have to be patient with the young ones.'' UNI

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