Grieving Inzamam retires from one-dayers

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2007, 0:19 [IST]
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Kingston (Jamaica):Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq announced his retirement from one-day cricket after his team's humiliating exit from the World Cup and the death of coach Bob Woolmer.

He also said he would give up the captaincy after playing his last one-dayer against Zimbabwe on Wednesday, a match he and the team have dedicated to Woolmer, who died here after the team were bundled out of the Cup by Ireland.

"I have talked with my father on the phone and have decided to retire from one-day cricket after the Zimbabwe match," Inzamam told reporters on Sunday.

"Leading Pakistan was a great honour and these last three years have been the most memorable for me. On the same side, the World Cup debacle this time have been the worst days of my career," he said.

"I wanted to go on a high but this was not in my fate."

Inzamam's press conference was attended by the entire Pakistan team, still in obvious grief and shock after the death of Woolmer, who was pronounced dead after being found unconscious in his hotel room Sunday.

The 37-year-old Pakistan captain made 36 and one respectively in the 54-run defeat against the West Indies and the three-wicket upset loss to Ireland that ended their World Cup campaign. Zimbabwe will be their last Cup match.

"We will play the last match for our coach, who was not only a great coach but a great human being and a personal friend," the star said. "We can never overcome the tragedy and would always remember the man."

Woolmer, who was 58, was a former England Test batsman and highly respected coach. But he presided over arguably the greatest shock in the history of the sport, when the Irish part-timers beat Pakistan on Saturday.

Inzamam said he had talked with Woolmer about announcing his decision to retire from the one-day game.

"A lot of people may think that this was not the right time to announce retirement but I discussed it with Woolmer, who agreed with me," he said.

"I will be willing to serve Pakistan cricket in any capacity and would be playing Test cricket, if needed, as a player."

He has played 377 matches, scoring 11,702 runs with ten hundreds and 83 fifties. He has also played 129 Tests for Pakistan.

Inzamam was also part of the Pakistan team that won the World Cup in 1992.

The burly batsman hit the headlines with his fiery 37-ball 60 against New Zealand in the semi-final and then a robust 30-ball 42 in the final against England to help Pakistan to their only World Cup title.

"I have played to the best (of my) abilities and never compromised on the team's betterment. I thank my fans for their utmost support and apologise to them on a poor show in the World Cup," he said.

"I want to be remembered as an honest player, someone who takes pride in playing for my country, and would always be available to help Pakistan cricket's cause."


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