AFP - 13 March 2000
KARACHI, March 13 (AFP) - Pakistan's off-field cricket problems grew a step
worse Monday as captain Saeed Anwar stepped down from captaincy after just
five Tests in charge.
``Anwar came to us and told us that due to health problems and pressure he
wants to step down from captaincy and would like to concentrate on his
batting,'' Yawar Saeed, director of operations at the Pakistan Cricket Board
Moin Khan will lead Pakistan in the Sharjah tri-series starting from March
22 until Pakistan's return trip to Sri Lanka in June.
Inzamam-ul-Haq will be his deputy.
The Pakistan board had announced just last week that Anwar would lead the
side until July this year.
But Anwar sprained his neck after colliding with umpire Mohammad Nazir
during the second Test against Sri Lanka in Peshawar and was ruled out to
play in the on-going Karachi Test.
Anwar is in Pakistan's preliminary squad of 18 for Sharjah but a final
decision will be taken on Tuesday.
``There was no pressure on Anwar from the Pakistan board and we honoured his
decision. The management has discussed the matter with Khan and told him
about the decision,'' Saeed said.
Khan reportedly declined to lead Pakistan last month ahead of the Sri Lankan
Anwar's team lost all three one-dayers against Sri Lanka and the first two
Tests of the on-going Test series.
Ace pacer Wasim Akram was ruled out from the Sharjah tournament also
involving India and South Africa.
``Akram tried his groin but conveyed to us that he is not 100 percent fit
and doesn't want to be a liability,'' Saeed said.
Saeed said Akram will be fit for the West Indies tour starting next month.
Allrounder Azhar Mahmood and off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq were also ruled out
due to injury.
Squad: Moin Khan (captain), Inzamam-ul-Haq (vice captain), Saeed Anwar, Ejaz
Ahmed, Yousuf Youhanna, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Abdur Razzak, Arshad
Khan, Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Akhtar, Imran Nazir, Waqar Younis, Wajahatullah
Wasti, Mohammad Akram, Shahid Nazir, Irfan Fazil and Mohammad Naveed.