Anwar lashes out at selectors, hints at retirement

Published: Monday, October 28, 2002, 20:33 [IST]
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Lahore: Former Pakistani opener Saeed Anwar laid into Pakistani selectors on Monday for ignoring him for the forthcoming Zimbabwe tour and hinted at possible retirement.

"If Pakistan has a better opener than me he must be selected, but I can't understand how they ignored me by saying I lack confidence," Anwar told in an interview. "I am consulting my seniors and may opt for retirement if the situation remains the same." Anwar, 34, who holds the world record for the highest One-day score of 194, failed to find a place in Pakistan's Test and One-day squad for next month's tour of Zimbabwe. Chief selector Wasim Bari reasoned Anwar lacked confidence in batting, noting he only scored three runs in a recent trial match. Anwar, who last year became a devout Muslim after the death of his only daughter, blamed selectors for not giving him a chance in this month's series against Australia. "Selectors did not pick me for the series against Australia (even though) I had told captain Waqar Younis and manager Yawar Saeed that I wanted to play," he said. "Instead the wrong impression was created that I had asked for rest." Pakistan suffered a devastating 3-0 drubbing by Australia in the series in the United Arab Emirates' Sharjah. "I made 52 against Sri Lanka and 28 not out against the Netherlands in the Champions Trophy last month but was axed," said Anwar. After tallying 4,052 runs in 55 Tests and 8,605 runs in 242 One-day Internationals, Anwar said he chose to leave the game two months back when he was dropped for the tri-series in Kenya. "But selectors picked me for the International Cricket Council (ICC) event," he said. Anwar said Pakistan cricket was "at a dangerous crossroads." "Interest in cricket has waned and people have stopped watching cricket because of defeats," he said. "If quick steps are not taken Pakistan cricket will suffer the same fate as hockey and squash."

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