Saeed Anwar willing to help Pakistan groom capable openers

February 11th, 2009 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Feb 11 (IANS) Former Pakistan Test opener Saeed Anwar is willing to help national coaches in their bid to prepare reliable openers for international cricket.
Anwar, a vastly-accomplished former Test cricketer, said in an interview Wednesday that Pakistan has several batsmen who are capable of becoming world-class openers but they need proper training and guidance.

The 40-year-old former cricketer said though he mostly spends his time preaching Islam, he can take time out to help national coaches train the openers.

Anwar, who scored 4,042 runs from 55 Tests and accumulated 8,824 runs from 247 ODI appearances, said left-handed batsmen Salman Butt and Nasir Jamshed can become world class openers.

Pakistan has been dogged in recent years because of its inability to raise solid openers, especially for Test matches, since its last successful pair of Anwar and Aamer Sohail.

Anwar said it’s very important for an opener to have courage and determination.

“For an opener, it’s vital to have a big heart,” said Anwar, who holds the record of highest runs in an ODI innings. “Only a courageous batsman can become a successful opener,” he said.

“When Waqar Younis was at his peak, I and Inzamam-ul-Haq used to face him in the nets without wearing helmets. You have to take the fear factor out of the equation to become a successful opener,” he concluded.

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