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Relax ... and don't read the newspapers, Pakistan veteran tells team
by AFP


Player:Saeed Anwar
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05
Other links:The '188' in Calcutta

Former Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar warned his countrymen embarking on the landmark cricket tour of India to avoid putting pressure on themselves by reading newspaper reports and calling home.

Anwar, 36, whose 194 against India in 1997 still stands as the world's highest international one-day score, said Pakistan would play better if they were relaxed.

"Through my experience I can tell that media criticism after bad results and poor personal performance double the pressure," said Anwar, who made 4,052 runs in 55 Tests and 8,823 in 247 one-day internationals.

"My advice to all the players is to avoid reading newspapers especially the negative stuff and don't call home frequently to avoid pressure," said Anwar.

"Just relax and take it as another match, it won't be easy when you play against India but it can produce good results."

Pakistan begin as underdogs in the three Tests, six one-day internationals and two side games on their first tour of India for six years.

"When someone from the family asks why are you not scoring runs and why are you so much under pressure, it adds to your woes, so avoid that as much as you can," said Anwar.

Anwar, who made 188 at Calcutta on Pakistan's last tour in 1999 and has acted as a batting coach for the current team, also had advice for Pakistan's batsmen.

"Never practise your weak shots on which you get out because that let you forget your strong shots," said Anwar, who has grown a long beard and preaches Islam since the death of his daughter in 2001.

Anwar retired after Pakistan's failed campaign in the 2003 World Cup.

Pakistan plays the first Test in Mohali from Tuesday.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP) spacer

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