Inzamam-ul-Haq is perhaps one of the most well known and respected Pakistani cricketers of all time. Born on the 3rd of March, 1970, he is popularly known as Inzy in the world of cricket.
Primarily a right handed batsman, he occasionally bowled in the slow left arm orthodox fashion. He is the highest run scorer for Pakistan in one-day internationals, and the third-highest Test cricket.
He enjoyed a long spell as the captain of the Pakistan national cricket team and is considered to be one of the best leaders in Pakistan cricket history.
Inzamam started his career playing for his hometown club, Multan, in 1985, when he was just fifteen years old. This was the first of many clubs in Pakistan for which he played domestic cricket.
Inzamam made his ODI debut in 1991 in a series against West Indies, where he delivered a good performance, scoring a half century in one of the two matches he played.
This was followed by another successful spell in a series against Sri Lanka where he delivered amazing performances – scoring two centuries and a half century in four matches.
Inzamam made his Test debut in 1992 against England at Edgbaston, where he was not out with a score of 8. His first Test series was disappointing as he averaged only 13.2 runs per innings.
Pakistan lost that series to England 2-1. However, he soon turned his Test form and started making major contributions to Pakistan’s test cricket victories by 1994.
Inzamam was handpicked by the Pakistani cricketing legend Imran Khan for the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand. The relatively unknown player was disappointing at the start of the tournament.
However, he started delivering crucial performances at the most important stages. He guided Pakistan to victory in the semi finals by scoring 60 runs of just 37 balls. This was followed by another side-savings innings of 48 runs, leading to Pakistan’s maiden World Cup triumph.
In a test match against Australia in Karachi in 1994, he made 58 not out with the tail and helped Pakistan to a one-wicket victory and a 1–0 series win. He achieved personal success by becoming International Cricket Council's number one ranked batsman in 1995.
Inzamam's girth and his running between the wickets had been an object of constant ridicule throughout his career. As cricket was becoming more and more of an athletic game, Inzamam’s physical state was questioned at several occasions.
In a 1997 Sahara Cup match against India in Toronto, Inzamam assaulted a member of the crowd, Shiv Kumar Thind, a Canadian-based Indian who was mocking him in public over his physique.
On Pakistan's 2006 tour of England, Inzamam directed his team to not to re-enter the field after tea, on 20 August 2006 at The Oval after allegations of ball tampering. He has also been accused of discriminating against cricketers based on their religious beliefs.
Inzamam was the captain of the Pakistan cricket team from 2003–07. He captained Pakistan in 30 Tests, winning eleven, drawing nine and losing ten.
Captaincy had a positive effect on Inzamam's batting, often leading by example in pressure situations. He averages better as a captain (52) than a regular player (50).
The latter part of Inzamam's tenure as Pakistan captain was less successful and the team was embroiled in many controversies culminating in a disappointingly early exit from the 2007 Cricket World Cup at the hands of lowly ranked Ireland.
Inzamam represented United Bank Limited, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, National Bank of Pakistan, and Water and Power Development Authority in his homeland – Pakistan.
He made his debut in English county cricket in August 2007 at the age of 37 by joining the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He had a disappointing spell there as he scored below 10 runs in his first three matches.
Inzamam has, presently, the third highest average in ODI cricket as a captain after Ricky Ponting and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He had the longest tenure as captain of Pakistan after Imran Khan.
In total, Inzamam set a record for scoring the most half centuries in One Day Internationals, 83 – though this is now surpassed by Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis and Kumar Sangakkara.
He was also the second batsman to score 10,000 runs in one-day Internationals.
Inzamam called upon his ODI career after Pakistan’s early exit in the 2007 World Cup. Later that year, he also announced his retirement from Test cricket, playing his last test in October against South Africa.
He has been the batting consultant to the Pakistan cricket team and coach to the Afghanistan national cricket team. Inzamam currently serves as the chief selector of Pakistan cricket team.