Saeed Anwar

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Saeed Anwar (Urdu: سعید انور‎; born 6 September 1968) is a former Pakistani opening batsman and occasional Slow left arm orthodox bowler who played international cricket between 1989 and 2003. He played 55 Test matches scoring 4052 with the help of eleven centuries; while in 247 One Day Internationals (ODIs) he made 8824 runs. He made twenty centuries in ODIs which is the highest number among Pakistani batsmen in this format.[1][2]
 
In February 1999, Anwar became the third Pakistani to carry his bat through a Test innnings, following father and son Nazar Mohammed and Mudassar Nazar. He scored 188 not out, beating his team's score at the previous innings (185) where he made a duck, and contributing 60 per cent of a total of 316.[3][4] It was also the highest Test score by a Pakistani on Indian soil which was surpassed by Younis Khan (267) in 2005.[4][5][6] He is most notable for scoring 194 runs against India in Chennai in 1997

Personal life

Saeed anwar was born on 6 September 1968 in Karachi. In 1973, he shifted with his family to Tehran, Iran and came back to Karachi in 1977. Anwar got his education from Government Degree Science College, Malir Cantt. In 1989, he graduated by profession as a Computer system engineer from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi. He was planning to go to the United States for his Master's studies before becoming a professional Test cricketer.[9][10]
 
Anwar married his cousin, Lubna, a doctor by profession, in March 1996.[9] He faced a personal tragedy in 2001 when his daughter, Bismah, died after a prolonged illness.[11] As a result he turned to religious devotion.[12] He made his return to cricket after a long hiatus and was one of the most consistent Pakistani batsmen in the 2003 World Cup. However upon his return, he lost his previous touch and could not perform as he did before. He was criticized for the loss of form which led to his retirement from cricket soon. "I retired because I felt unwanted", he said.[13] During his career, he was an elegant batsman and played particularly well on the off side, his trademark flick being a sure shot feature in almost all of his innings.[14]
 
Since then, he devoted his life to the preaching of Islam across Pakistan with the Tablighi Jamaat. He led the funeral prayers for his former team mate Wasim Akram's spouse, Huma Akram, in Lahore.[15] He is also believed to be instrumental in Yousuf Youhana's (Muslim Name: Mohammad Yousaf) conversion to Islam in 2005. Youhana was the only Christian in the Pakistan cricket team till then and was said to be influenced by Anwar and the Tablighi Jamaat.[16][17]

International career

An opening batsman capable of annihilating any bowling attack on his day, Anwar was an attacking batsman in ODI matches and once settled in Test matches, scored quickly and all over the field. His success came from good timing. Anwar became famous for his trademark flick. He was able to lift a ball that had pitched outside off stump for six over midwicket. Anwar's timing and ability to score quick runs made him a crowd favourite. In 1997, when he was as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year, the cricket almanack Wisden described him that he "moved his front foot and head well across, then his wrists hovered, hawk-like, over the advancing ball, extending further and further as if they were elastic if the ball was slanted ever more away from him, before the bat flowed into a square-drive to the boundary".[9]
[Anwar] used an eclectic approach to batting – classical betrothed to unorthodox, footwork against spin as quick as a hiccup supple yet powerful to brush the field like a Picasso.
— Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja, 2010.[18]
Anwar was the first Pakistani batsman to score a century against India on Indian soil in an ODI match.[citation needed] He has the highest Test batting average (59.06) of any Pakistani against Australia, and once scored two consecutive centuries against them.[19] He scored a classic century against South Africa in Durban, which allowed Pakistan to win a Test match for the first time in South Africa.[20]

One-Day International career

Anwar played 247 ODI matches for Pakistan and scored 8824 runs from 244 innings at the average of 39.21. He is third in the list of leading run-scorers for Pakistan in the format after Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf. With 20 centuries, he is Pakistan's leading century-maker in ODIs.[1][2][21]
Under the captaincy on Imran Khan, Anwar started his international career on 1 January 1989 with an ODI match played at WACA Ground which Pakistan lost to West Indies. He scored only 3 runs in the match.[22] His first match-winning performance came against India in December 1989 at Jinnah Stadium, Gujranwala. He scored unbeaten 42 runs off 32 balls in the match.[23] In 1993, he made four ODI centuries at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, including three consecutive centuries against Sri Lanka, West Indies and Sri Lanka during 1993–94 Wills Trophy and became the second of the four players to do so.[24][25] He scored two successive hundreds on three other occasions in his career, and was the first batsman to complete this feat in ODIs.[26]
On 21 May 1997 in Chennai, Anwar scored 194 against India in India in an ODI match.[27] Charles Coventry equalled the feat on 16 August 2009, against Bangladesh.[28] This was the highest individual score by any batsman in the world till Sachin Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 200 against South Africa on 24 February 2010 which later was surpassed by Virender Sehwag's 219.[7][29][30]

World Cup Performance

Anwar played in three Cricket World Cups for Pakistan: 1996, 1999 and 2003.[31][32][33] He played 21 matches and scored 915 runs at the average of 53.82, and his highest score in a world cup match remained 113 not out.[34] In 1996 Cricket World Cup, Anwar made three fifties, Against India in the second Quarter-final at Banglore, he made 48. Pakistan lost the match by 39 runs.[35] He made 329 in the tournament. In 1999 Cricket World Cup, he made two consecutive centuries, 103 against Zimbabwe and 113 not out against New Zealand in the Semi-final, and led Pakistan into the Final.[36][37] He scored 368 runs in the tournament. He played his last match against Zimbabawe during the 2003 World Cup in which he made unbeaten 40 runs. The match was lasted without result due to rain.[38] In the previous match played against India which Pakistan lost by six wickets, he scored his fourth century against them and 20th in overall.[39] Anwar dedicated the century to his daughter, who died in 2001.[40] When Shahid Khan Afridi made fastest century on 37 balls, Saeed Anwar was also batting with him. Saeed Anwar also made 115 runs[41] on 120 balls. He gave encouragement and suggestions to Afridi on great batting.
Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq made so many partnership together against many teams like New Zealand, India, Australia etc.

Test career

Anwar was an outstanding opener in Test cricket.[42] He played 55 Test matches for Pakistan and scored 4052 at the average of 45.52. He is the seventh-highest run scorer for Pakistan in Test cricket, and scored 11 centuries and 25 half-centuries during his international career.[1] As an aggressive opening batsman, most of his centuries turned into relatively big scores.[43][44] He scored many of his centuries away against almost every team he toured, and averaged more than 40 against the three of four nations (South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and England) which have been most difficult for an Asian batsman.
He made his Test debut against the West Indies in a match which Pakistan lost at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad, in 1990. He got a pair in the match. Bowlers like Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop dismissed him in the first and second innings respectively.[45][46] His highest score of 188 not out, came against came against India during the 1998–99 Asian Test Championship at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, in a match in which he carried his bat, in 1999.[3][4], the highest score for that time, and now the joint third highest individual score in an ODI.[7][8]
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