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Saeed may replace Wasim as captain

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    Saeed may replace Wasim as captain

    KARACHI, Feb 9: Wasim Akram will not lead Pakistan against Sri Lanka in the forthcoming
    one-day and Test series, highly placed sources said on the eve of the team announcement.

    Sources, requesting anonymity, confirmed on Wednesday that Saeed Anwar would be named on
    Thursday as Wasim's successor for the three one-day internationals and three Tests to be played between Feb 13 and March 17.

    Sources added that Saeed Anwar confirmed his availability to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director operations Yawar Saeed on Wednesday morning.

    "The chairman of the PCB has been informed about Saeed's availability to lead the team," sources confirmed.

    Javed Miandad, a member of the PCB advisory panel flew off to Lahore on Tuesday evening.
    According to sources, he had a long telephonic discussion with the chairman and another member of the advisory panel Ramiz Raja.

    Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia, the chairman of PCB ad hoc committee and Ramiz are in Singapore for
    International Cricket Council (ICC) meetings which concludes on Thursday. The general and Ramiz are due to return on Saturday.

    Saeed has led Pakistan in five Tests and four one-day internationals. He won a Test against New Zealand in 1996-97 while lost a Test to South Africa in the following season at Faisalabad.

    Saeed was the only choice left with the PCB administrators once they decided to release Wasim Akram of his duties and Moin Khan declined the offer to lead the team.

    Sources said while the PCB received complains from the junior players against Wasim's attitude, the all-rounder also made the job of the administrators easy by expressing his willingness to step down.

    "In the twilight of his career, Wasim wants to concentrate only on cricket. He feels that additional pressures at this stage were affecting his performance," sources said, adding: "In addition to this, he was dejected with the team's performance in Australia."

    Pakistan lost three Tests and six out of 10 one-day internationals, including both the finals comprehensively.

    Wasim picked up 13 wickets in the Australian triangular series at 29.62 per wicket while contributed 166 runs with the blade.

    Informed sources added that manager of the Pakistan team to Australia, Brig (retd) Khawaja Mohammad Nasir, in his meeting with the PCB chairman, advised that because of diabetes, Wasim can't sustain extra strain or pressure.
    "The manager cited a couple of incidents from the Australian tour when Wasim lost his temper and eventually collapsed with low sugar level," sources added.

    Wasim has been keeping a low profile since his return from Australia.

    "Wasim's objective now is to capture, at least, 400 wickets in Tests if not the world record of 431 presently held by Kapil Dev," sources close to Wasim said.

    While Wasim will not be available as captain, he has, nevertheless, confirmed his availability for the series.

    "He has promised the PCB chairman to give his best to the team as a player," sources said.

    Meanwhile, final 14 for Sunday's match will be decided by Thursday morning when Saeed Anwar meets Javed Miandad and Yawar Saeed at the cricket headquarters in Lahore.

    But according to board sources, the advisory panel has decided to chop five players that toured Australia for Tests and one-dayers. The players are: Shahid Afridi Wajahatullah Wasti, Ijaz Ahmad, Mohammad Wasim and Inzamam-ul-Haq. Waqar Younis has expressed his inability for the home series because of his marriage tomorrow(Thursday) while there are fitness doubts over Abdur Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq. But the two are likely to be retained and their appearance in the match will be subject to fitness test.

    The selectors, according to sources, have decided to pick at least uncapped three players - Younis Khan, Imran Abbas, Faisal Iqbal and Zahid Saeed - while Aamir Sohail has confirmed his place after a fine half century on Tuesday. Younis Khan scored over 1,100 runs in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy while Faisal and left-arm pacer Zahid Saeed excelled in the Youth World Cup in Sri Lanka.

    With the PCB having clamped a one match ban on Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Akram may also get
    the selectors' nod.

    The likely 14 are:

    Saeed Anwar (captain), Aamir Sohail, Younis Khan, Imran Abbas, Faisal Iqbal, Yousuf Youhana, Azhar Mahmood, Moin Khan (wicket-keeper), Abdur Razzaq, Wasim Akram, Zahid Saeed, Mohammad Akram, Saqlain Mushtaq,and Shoaib Malik.

    ----------------
    Wow......lets see...how Anwar meets the situation?? As far as Akram...I think...he should has to concentrate on his bowling to achieve his desire.
    Good to know that Ijaz,Inzi are out.

    Good Luck to the team...

    C ya..
    It is my belief that our salvation lies in following the golden rules of conduct set for us by our great law-giver, the Prophet of Islam. (Quaid-e-Azam Speech at Shahi Darbar, Sibi, February 14, 1948)
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