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How would you rate your latest one-day hundred against India at 
Sharjah? 

This century was a lot fun. The atmosphere was surcharged, which one 
generally associates with Pakistan-India games at the venue. We were 
chasing a target, which adds to the pressures and the responsibility.
And we had lost some quick wickets, Inzamam was hurt and it wasn't 
sure how long or how well he could bat, all of which meant I had to 
be there and make sure the team won. 

This seems to be your favourite ground -- seven of your hundreds
have come at this venue. 

Most players have their favourite grounds. The legendary Sir Donald
Bradman seems to have had a special liking for Headingley, where he 
has the unique distinction of scoring 300 or more runs twice in Tests. 
Similarly, India's little master, Sunil Gavaskar, has good memories 
of Port of Spain, Trinidad. For me, it is Sharjah, the setting is 
beautiful, the ground is a very good one, the atmosphere is conducive
to quality cricket. 

There seems to be a cricket match played every day, these days. 
Comments? 

Yes, this is correct. For instance, we have just finished playing six
Tests against South Africa and the West Indies at home.This was 
interrupted by the quadrangular tournament for the Jinnah Cup. 
Before this, we appeared in a series of eight one dayers against 
India, in Toronto and Pakistan. Now we were here to play the 
Champions Trophy in Sharjah. Yes, there is an overdose of cricket, 
and it is very taxing. Especially the one dayers, where so much
happens in the span of 100 overs, and you have to be concentrated, 
focused, on your toes all the time. That is why one day cricket 
is much tougher than Test cricket. And these days, a lot of games 
are played back to back, the same team having to perform on
successive days.Add to all this the tensions, the travel from place
to place and from one climate to another. Yes, cricket has become
more professional. Not that I am complaining, mind you. 

Just a while ago, you were captain of Pakistan. How did it feel then,
how does it feel now that you have given up the captaincy? 

I enjoyed every bit of the captaincy, it was a great experience and 
I felt proud to have been selected to lead the country. However, it
has to be stressed that it was a stop gap arrangement, and now that
Wasim Akram,has taken back the captaincy, I have no regrets. In fact, 
now that the pressure, the burden of captaincy has been removed, 
I can properly concentrate on my batting. As long as I get runs for
my team, I am more than happy. 

During the post match press conference at the end of the 
India-Pakistan game, Wasim Akram referred to you as 
'the world's best batsman'. How do you feel about getting that
rating? 

It is not for me to judge myself, but for others. As far as I am 
concerned, I will just concentrate on my batting, let my bat talk 
for me. The priority is to get runs for Pakistan and see the team
win. Everything else is secondary.

Only Desmond Haynes of the West Indies has more centuries than you 
in one day cricket -- when do you hope to go to the top of the list? 


I don't really play for records. As long as I get runs and hundreds,
I am happy. When I go out in the middle, I just concentrate on the
game, what comes first is the country's performance. If Pakistan can 
win because of my effort, I am more than happy -- like I said, my
century here was important not because it was my 14th overall, or
the 7th in Sharjah, but because it helped us win the game. All other 
records are secondary. 

What are your plans for the future, how long do you see yourself
continuing to play? 

As long as the Pakistan Cricket Board, and the national selection 
committee, needs my services, I will continue to play. It is great 
fun playing for the country, and I enjoy it thoroughly. Of course, 
it is tough playing day in and day out, that too when the demands
and expectations from fans is so high. That said, Pakistan cricket
fans are the best in the world and as long as I feel I can perform
for them and for the team - I'll continue playing.




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