Saeed Anwar was born on 6 September 1968 in Karachi and he is a former Pakistani cricketer and a former captain for Tests and ODIs. He shifted with his family to Canada in 1973 and came back to Karachi in 1977. Saeed went to high school at Government Degree Science College, Malir Cantt and went to university at NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi. In 1989, he graduated from NED. He was planning to go to the US for his Master before becoming a professional Test cricketer. His father played cricket at the club level, whereas his brother Jawed Anwar represented Lahore Under-19 cricket team.
In 1990, he made his Test debut against the West Indies in a match which Pakistan lost at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad. In the third Test of his career, Anwar scored 169 runs against New Zealand in 1994; Pakistan won the match. Later in the same year during Pakistan’s tour to Sri Lanka, his 94 and 136 runs in the first match at Colombo earned him a man of the match award. In 1994, scoring fifties—85 and 77 runs—in both the innings of the first Test against Australia at Karachi, Anwar helped Pakistan led the three-match series 1–0. In the same season against Zimbabwe, he was unsuccessful. In 1995, Anwar scored three consecutive fifties against Sri Lanka in the home series.
In the 1996 Pakistan’s tour of England, a three-Test match series played between the Pak and Eng teams. Pakistan won the series by 2–0. Anwar remained the second-highest run with 362 runs – with an average of 60.33. He scored 88 and 74 runs in the first Test at Lord’s, and 176 and one scores in the third match at The Oval. In the 1996–97 seasons, he played two Tests against Zimbabwe and aggregated 182 runs in three innings. In the same season, Saeed replaced injured Wasim as captain against New Zealand. He was the second-highest run-scorer once again, accumulating 157 runs in three innings, including 149 in the second Test at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Against South Africa in 1997–98, he only scored 40 runs in four innings at an average of 8.00.
In the first Test of the 1998–99 Asian Test Championship, Anwar became the third Pakistani to carry his bat through a Test inning. Anwar’s career-best 188 not out in the second innings at the Eden Gardens—beating the team’s total at the previous innings (185) where he made a duck—was 60 percent of the total, 316. It was also the highest Test score by a Pakistani on Indian soil, which was surpassed by Younus Khan.
Anwar’s last Test was against Bangladesh during the 2001–02 Asian test championship. Saeed scored 101 runs, which ensured an innings and 264 runs win at the Multan Cricket Stadium. His daughter died the same day. He played 55 Test matches, scoring 4052 runs with eleven centuries, average 45.52.
One Day International Career
In 1989, under the captaincy on Imran Khan, Anwar started his international career with an ODI match played at WACA Ground, which Pakistan lost to West Indies. He scored only three runs. In December 1989, his first match-winning performance came against India at Jinnah Stadium, Gujranwala. He scored unbeaten 42 runs off 32 balls. His best performance in the series was 126 runs against Sri Lanka. His next achievement was against New Zealand in 1990–91, when he was the top-scorer of the series, with 203 runs. He scored two successive hundreds on three other occasions in his career and was the first batsman to complete this feat in ODIs—in 1996, in 1999, and 2000. During 1994–95 Wills Trophy, he scored 202 runs at an average of 40.40, including a century. He scored a century against Sri Lanka at Gymkhana Club Ground in October 1996. Anwar scored 194 against India in India in an ODI match in the 1997 Pepsi Independence Cup.
Anwar played 247 ODI matches for Pakistan and scored 8824 runs from 244 innings at the average of 39.21. With 20 centuries, he is Pakistan’s leading century-maker in ODIs. Anwar was the first Pakistani batsman to score a century against India on Indian soil in an ODI match.
World Cup Performance
Saeed Anwar played in three Cricket World Cups for Pakistan (1996, 1999 and 2003). He played 21 matches and scored 915 runs at an average of 53.82. His highest score in a world cup match remained 113 not out.
Opened in 32 ODI innings with Aamir Sohail for Pakistan, in 1994–95, the most consecutive by a Pakistan opening pair and fourth overall. It named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1997. He scored unbeaten 188 runs in the match and Pakistan won the game, it was also the highest Test score by a Pakistani on Indian soil. As an opening batsman, Anwar scored two or more successive hundreds on four occasions and made 20 hundred in ODI. He holds the highest Test batting average (59.06) of any Pakistani against Australia in Test matches.
He faced a personal tragedy in 2001 when his daughter, Bismah, died after a prolonged illness. As a result, he turned religious and starting preaching Islam. He made his return to cricket after a long time 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 criticized for the loss of form, which led to his retirement from cricket soon. He announced his retirement from international cricket on 15 August 2003, after he dropped from the squad for the upcoming One-Day International tournament in Sharjah.
During his career, he was an elegant batsman and played particularly well on the offside, his trademark flick being a sure shot feature in almost all of his innings.