Inzamam bids tearful farewell

inziInzamam-ul-Haq on Wednesday walked out of the field at Sabina Park in tears after playing his final one-day innings in a World Cup Group D game against Zimbabwe.

Inzamam, 37, hit three sixes and two fours in a 35-ball 37 in his last One-day International (ODI) outing that could might be his last international match for Pakistan.

The Pakistan captain later hoisted a catch to mid-off and walked towards the dressing room in tears, having ended an illustrious career that spanned over more than 15 years.

His team’s players and officials came out of the dressing room to receive their outgoing captain near the boundary line.

It was an emotional farewell to a player who is counted among the cricketing greats in Pakistan and rest of the cricket world.

“Each and every player went to Inzamam, hugged and congratulated him on a highly successful career,” a team official later told Pakistani reporters. “Inzamam looked very emotional. He thanked the players for their support,” added the official.

Inzamam finally fulfilled his promise to bat at number four, promoting himself up the order with Pakistan placed at 88-2 in 17.4 overs and conditions looking perfect for batting. Right from the start of his entertaining cameo, Inzamam looked in fine nick as he hit the ball all over the park with complete authority against a below average Zimbabwean attack. He hit three sixes and two fours, driving and pulling the ball with enviable ease. Together with Imran Nazir, he added 70 runs in about tens over with Pakistan racing from 100 to 150 in just 35 balls and 19 minutes.

Inzamam made his ODI debut in November 1991, with 20 in 29 balls against the West Indies at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. He went on to become a national hero for his vital role in Pakistan’s World cup-winning triumph in Australia in 1992.

Inzamam had a disastrous World Cup in 2003, scoring just 19 runs in six outings ñ a performance that almost ended his one-day career.

However, in a twist of fate, Inzamam was named Pakistani captain and managed to survive in the lead up to the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean in spite of deteriorating form and non-stop criticism from pundits.

Inzamam finally suffered the ignominy of leading Pakistan’s worst ever World Cup campaign here with his team crashing out of the tournament within five days with losses against the West Indies and underdogs Ireland.

He was forced to step down as captain and also retired from one-day cricket on Sunday.

However, with Pakistan set to begin a rebuilding process following the World Cup setback, chances are bleak that Inzamam would be able to carry on his Test career.

Today’s fixtures

Group A: Netherlands v Scotland at Warner Park, St Kitts

Group C: Canada v New Zealand at Beausejour Stadium, St Lucia

Both matches today (Thursday) start at 6:30pm Pakistan Standard Time.

Source:The News

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