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Inzamam announces double retirement
Richard Sydenham | March 19, 2007 04:47 IST
Last Updated: March 19, 2007 18:40 IST
Inzamam-ul Haq quit as Pakistan Test captain and retired from one-day internationals on Sunday, rounding off an extraordinary weekend for his country's national cricket team.
With his side still mourning the sudden death of coach Bob Woolmer hours earlier, Inzamam told a news conference he was cutting back on his international commitments, though he will continue to be available for Tests as a batsman.
Inzamam was questioned about his timing of the announcements on such a sad day for Pakistan cricket following the death of the popular Woolmer.
"I had a very strong attachment with the coach and I myself felt very bad," Inzamam said. "But I had already decided anyway."
Inzamam scored only one run in the three-wicket defeat by World Cup debutants Ireland on Saturday which ensured Pakistan's shock exit from the competition.
They lost their first match to hosts West Indies, Inzamam scoring 36.
The 37-year-old will be remembered as one of Pakistan's finest one-day batsmen. He was part of the team in 1992 which secured the trophy in Australia, beating England in the final under Imran Khan's captaincy.
Overall, though, his memories of the World Cup will be wretched. In the last competition in South Africa, he mustered just 19 runs in six innings and said his performance was one of the major embarrassments of his career.
He apologised to his team's supporters for the shock reverse at Sabina Park on Saturday against the Irish part-timers who Pakistan were expected to thrash before mounting a serious challenge for the trophy.
"I can only say I am sorry to my people in Pakistan," he said. "We tried our best but I'm afraid the result didn't come out as we planned."
Inzamam played 377 one-day internationals, behind only India's Sachin Tendulkar and Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya on the all-time list of appearances. He scored 11,702 runs, including 10 centuries and 83 fifties, at an average of 39.53.
He endured a turbulent year as captain of the Test team. In the fourth Test against England at the Oval last August, his team were docked five runs by the umpires who decided they had tampered with the ball.
They were later cleared of that charge by the ICC but Inzamam's action in refusing to lead his team back out after the tea interval led to the only forfeiture in the history of Test cricket.
Pakistan fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif tested positive in October for the banned steroid nandrolone and were banned but later controversially cleared by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Inzamam still remains one of Pakistan's most potent forces with the bat, boasting a formidable Test record. He has played 119 Tests, amassed 8,813 runs and made 25 hundreds at an average of 50.07.
Inzamam thanked his team mates, former captains, the board, the fans and his family for his long career -- he made his Test debut in 1992, the year after his one-day bow.
"Without them (his family), I couldn't have done anything," he said.
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