In a way, the Cricket World Cup made and marred his career.
Inzamam-ul-Haq came into the limelight as a young and dashing batsman who played a key role in ensuring Pakistan lift its maiden World Cup in 1992 and it is indeed ironic to note that his end as a cricketer was hastened by Pakistan's shock exit at the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.
Right from 1992 till his retirement, I have enjoyed watching him play and plunder the opposition. The enjoyment was marginally less when he played against India nevertheless what I really like about this amazing cricketer was the simple, unassuming way he carried himself off the field. No wonder he was often famously referred to as the 'gentle giant'.
What a batsman/cricketer he was on the cricket field - dominating, aggressive and attacking and just the opposite off it! In his interviews to the media, he comes across as a humble and simple guy who would rather be left alone after his game of cricket was over.
Of course I remember with great amusement the incredible number of times he lost his wicket (and lost his partners too) for sloppy running between the wickets or his laziness to take a single! But the very next time he came to the crease, it would all be forgotten when he would whack the ball all the way to the boundary or hit a smashing six.
I felt sad when I watched on Television his emotional announcement of his decision to retire from ODIs post Pakistan's disastrous world cup and it again saddened me the way he bid adieu to Test Cricket after the Home Test Series against South Africa. So much so my dad consoled me that this is a definite consequence of every world cup/major tournament. New heroes emerge and the older ones depart- some go out in a blaze of glory while others leave with ignominy. That's an occupational hazard of being a sportsperson, I suppose.
Farewell dear Inzy! You were an awesome cricketer! I will miss you! (and the run-outs also!)
"It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse."
- Life of Pi, Yann Martel