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Inzy leaves behind impressive legacy
Richard Sydenham in Jamaica | March 22, 2007 09:43 IST
Last Updated: March 22, 2007 10:43 IST
Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq left one-day internationals and captaincy behind on Wednesday when he tearfully bowed out.
Inzamam, 37, dedicated his last match, a 93-run win over Zimbabwe in the World Cup, to coach Bob Woolmer who died suddenly on Sunday.
Inzamam also received an emotional guard of honour from his teammates after his final innings of 37. The gesture brought tears to his eyes.
Only India's Sachin Tendulkar has scored more runs in ODIs than 'Inzy' while his former team mate Javed Miandad is the only Pakistani to have score more Test runs -- Inzamam requires 20 more to surpass his 8,832. He still intends to play Tests.
The premature World Cup exit, having lost to hosts West Indies and embarrassingly to debutants Ireland, would not have been the farewell Inzamam planned. But his highs will outweigh the lows.
"It has been an illustrious career," former skipper Aamir Sohail told Reuters. "He has done wonders for Pakistan cricket and in my opinion it's a sad way to go.
"When you are playing at a World Cup there are so many hopes pinned in our part of the world, people expect great things to happen. After losing to Ireland it was an ignominious ending (for Pakistan and Inzamam)."
Inzy has been captain since 2003 and is best remembered as a rookie at Pakistan's victorious 1992 World Cup where he scored 60 off 37 balls in the semi-final against New Zealand and then 42 from 35 balls against England in the final.
"He played quality innings and whenever he played a quality innings Pakistan was always on the winning side," Sohail added. "There is no question mark as far as his batting ability is concerned."
Inzamam's best friend and the man who he calls 'the funniest man in cricket' Mushtaq Ahmed, stepped in as Woolmer's deputy following the coach's death on Sunday.
Mushtaq said Inzamam has been an "instrumental force" having developed a young side following the retirements of senior players like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Saeed Anwar.
"When he came along as captain he had young boys who didn't have any international experience and he nurtured them, he bred them and brought them up," Mushtaq told reporters. "He always thought for his team."
Majid Bhatti, a Pakistani cricket writer and broadcaster, believes Inzamam's legacy will be a good one.
"Pakistan will remember him well because he was a star when we won the 1992 World Cup," Bhatti told Reuters.
"Youngsters try to copy him. He is a legend all over the cricketing world."
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