Pakistan want to do it for Inzy
The colourful and controversial Inzamam-ul Haq will bring the curtains down on his one-day career in Jamaica on Wednesday when Pakistan end their tragedy-hit World Cup with a match against Zimbabwe.
Professionally shattered by the defeat against Ireland and personally devastated by the sudden death of coach Bob Woolmer in the aftermath of the loss, the 37-year-old will be striding out on to Sabina Park with only pride to play for.
Ironically, a much-needed victory on Wednesday for his team would also have the knock-on effect of putting his tormentors Ireland into the Super Eights.
Inzamam has told his mis-firing team that they owe it to Woolmer’s memory to win it in style.
“He was always helpful to the players and his feelings were with them,” said Inzamam.
“He was a very good coach and a super human being. Because of this he had a lot of respect from the team,” he added.
“After the match against Ireland he was upset but he said to me and to all the players that these things happen in cricket. He was brave and knew how to handle the situation when everybody was feeling down.”
The captain also said: “He will be well remembered. Now we are in trouble because we are out of the World Cup. But, over the last three years, our win ratio has been very high.”
Inzamam has played 377 one-day matches over a 15-year career, scoring 11,702 runs at an average of 39.53, including 10 hundreds and 83 half-centuries.
He was part of the 1992 World Cup winning team, famously sparking his side into the final with a blistering 60 from 37 balls in the semifinal against New Zealand.
Younis Khan, the man widely expected to take over the reins from Inzamam, said that the whole team was still shocked by the events of the weekend.
“Every Pakistani wanted us to do well at this World Cup and we are very sorry we let them down,” Younis told a website.
“After we beat the West Indies at home everybody expected us to win the first match against them in Jamaica and we should have won it.”
Zimbabwe, who arrived at the World Cup in another state of crisis after getting rid off all their senior players, have one point in Group D to their name following their last-ball tie against Ireland.
Monday’s defeat against the West Indies means that only victory against Pakistan will be enough to keep them in the competition.
However, even if they achieve that, they would then have to hope that the hosts defeat Ireland in the last group game to decide second- round qualification on run-rate.
“We tried for a win (against WI) to give us a shot at reaching the Super Eights, but in vain. So we will have to get it in on Wednesday,” said skipper Prosper Utseya.