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Last Updated:  Sunday, 2 March, 2003, 11:46 GMT
Anwar dedicates ton to daughter
Saeed Anwar in action against India
Anwar scored his 20th one-day century on Saturday
Pakistan's Saeed Anwar has decided to dedicate his World Cup century against arch-rivals India to his daughter, Bismah, who died two years ago.

Anwar hit 101 on Saturday before Sachin Tendulkar's 98 inspired India to win the high-profile encounter by six wickets.

"I am grateful to the Almighty that I scored this hundred. It has to be for Bismah who has always been in my thoughts," Anwar said on Sunday.

His four-year-old daughter died in Lahore in August 2001 following a mysterious illness and the loss had a profound effect on the opening batsman.

The 34-year-old grew a beard and began preaching Islam, but his batting form suffered, which prompted his selection for the World Cup to be questioned by the Pakistani media.

Playing against India brings out the best in me
Saeed Anwar
"Her death was God's wish and turning to religion has given me the strength to cope with the tragedy," said Anwar, who holds the world record for the highest one-day innings of 194, against India in 1997.

"I have tried to balance my life and want to play as long as I am fit to compete in top class cricket."

Anwar also revealed he wanted to quit cricket after being left out of the tour of South Africa late last year.

"I had almost given up on the game but my close friends and relatives told me to play in the World Cup and here I am," he said.

Anwar was absent from Pakistan's opening clash against Australia after sustaining an elbow injury when he was hit in the nets by a rising ball from fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

He scored 23, 29 and 25 in the next three games before returning to form against his favourite Indian bowling attack.

"Playing against India brings out the best in me," said Anwar, who completed 2000 runs in 50 one-day games against the Indians.

"It was very disappointing to lose the game. Hopefully the next time I score runs, Pakistan wins."





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