August 28, 2003

I retired because I felt unwanted, says Saeed Anwar

Wisden CricInfo staff

Saeed Anwar's announcement of retirement, when it came, did not surprise many. He had been, through either injury or otherwise, relegated to the fringes of selection for almost two years, and being dropped after the World Cup seemed to be the final straw.

In an interview with Rediff.com, Anwar said that the main reason for confirming his retirement was that he was not selected. "I thought it was no use hanging around. For someone closing in on 35, it was pointless waiting for six to eight months," he said. "I have already lost two, three years due to injury. I thought the team did not want me."

The selectors, Anwar said, had only informed him that they were resting him and giving youngsters a chance in a one-day tournament in Sharjah. "I said fair enough. But rest is for one series, not for one year. You don't rest a player for one year," said Anwar. "And anyway, since the World Cup, what have I been doing but resting? Why do they want me to rest so much?"

Anwar also stated that he had no regrets, although his dream of scoring a Test triple hundred remained unrealised. He also mentioned that his turning to Islam late in his career had helped him to focus on his game and fitness. "Sometimes you can be in your worst form and yet get a century and other days when you are playing well, one single edge ends your innings," he said. "It used to be very frustrating. Now it isn't. I have understood that the result is with that man upstairs."

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