WC 2003 - Akram to hang boots, says time to take bow with grace

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Wasim AkramBulawayo: One of the world's greatest fast bowlers Wasim Akram will hang his boots once he returns home, saying the time had come for him to "take a bow" following Pakistan's disappointing performance in the World Cup."The time has come to take a bow. I've made up my mind, but would make a final announcement after reaching home," said Akram, the only bowler to have taken 500 plus wickets in One-day Internationals. Akram also said he will not make himself available for selection for the triangular One-day series in Sharjah, starting on April 1 and also featuring South Africa and Sri Lanka."I want to go out with respect and grace. That's why I've decided not to make myself available for the Sharjah tournament."The 36-year-old left-arm speedster admitted that though he had enjoyed every match of the World Cup, he was very disappointed with the team's performance. "It's been a big disappointment. I thought we had the team to make the knockout stage, but nothing went right for us," Akram was quoted as saying. "I myself tried to do my best, but I feel I let down the people by not taking wickets in the match with India."Akram said he had got a lot of fame, love and respect during his 18 years in international cricket and would like to continue to associate himself in some capacity with the sport.He would also take a final decision on whether to accept an offer from English county Hampshire to play the coming season once he returned home, Akram said.The former Pakistan captain said he had turned down offers from some provincial sides in South Africa to play for them as he didn't believe he could spare so much time.Asked about his appeal to lift the captaincy ban imposed in the wake of match-fixing allegations, Akram said his legal advisor was taking care of things and he would force the issue once he returned home. PTI

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