Inzy eyes grand finale
An emotional Inzamamul Haq plans to end his Test career on a high this week, helping Pakistan to victory over South Africa in the second Test starting Monday.
The 37-year-old former skipper said he wanted to do 'something special' in Lahore where he will play his last Test for Pakistan before retiring.
"The last thing would be to play a good innings and help my team win so that it's a fitting farewell," he told reporters.
Pakistan have been bolstered by the return of Inzamam after losing the first Test in Karachi by 160 runs in the two-match series against the tourists.
"I made my one-day debut (against the West Indies in 1991) at Gaddafi Stadium so I have fond memories of the ground and it would be ideal if I retire after doing something special for the team," he said.
The batsman also made his highest Test score of 329 at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium against New Zealand in 2002.
Inzamam needs another 20 runs to become Pakistan's all-time run-getter in Test cricket, surpassing Javed Miandad's record of 8,832 runs in 124 Tests.
Inzamam, who has played 119 Tests, resigned the captaincy and quit one-day cricket following Pakistan's humiliating first-round exit in the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year.
The team were left shell-shocked after coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room the day after the team were knocked out of the tournament.
Police focussed on the squad in the short term as they investigated his death but officials ultimately ruled that he died of natural causes.
The burly batsman from Multan practised with the team for the last time on Sunday -- something he said was an emotional experience.
"You remain attached to a team for years and now you realise that this is the last time I am practicing with them and the last Test I am playing, it certainly made me emotional and sentimental," he said.
But he said Pakistan, under young captain Shoaib Malik, is progressing well.
"After the World Cup failure earlier this year, I thought Pakistan would struggle and find it difficult to progress, but I must give them credit for the manner in which they have since made strides at international level."
Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in a three-match one-day series in May before finishing runners-up to archrivals India in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup held last month in South Africa.
"I realised this young team is playing well and it made a tough decision to quit easier for me. I am happy at the way the Pakistan Cricket Board dealt with the situation and the Pakistan team is on a good and solid footing."
Inzamam also said he was proud of his long career.
"It gives me immense pleasure that I am retiring on a satisfying note. You cannot achieve everything but it's a career on which I can look back with satisfaction and am proud of what I have achieved."