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    March 22, 2007

    Goodbye Woolmer, Goodbye Inzi, Hello Brand New Hope

    Sometimes a picture says a thousand words, yesterday's match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe (which I sadly watched very little of because of a social commitment) is one such occasion. No detailed analysis for my readers this time, just these pictures.

    © AFP)

    The match started with a minute of silence in Bob's memory, when really any number of minutes of silence wouldn't have done justice...

    © AFP

    Imran Nazir put up a bit of show, the rest came and went, but it always all really going to be about one man - Inzi. In his last innings at the international stage, here he is, playing that masterful cut shut again.

    (© AFP)

    And there's the famous pull shot, how many of those did he play in his glorious career? Look at the poor fielder in the background, doesn't he look petrified by Inzi's mere presence, even though the ball is going no where near him? Imran doesn't call him the world's best batsman against pace bowlers for nothing.

    © AFP

    But then he played one too many, and held out add mid on, looking on as a fielder gets him out for one final time in Pakistan's one-day colours, and who knows, may be even in test colours...

    (© AFP)

    Then there's the usual slow walk back to the pavilion. Inzi's never been famous for going back quickly, but yesterday, with all the Zimbabwean players coming to shake hands and the necessary acknowledge of the meager crowd that had come into watch, meant the walk this time was that much more longer.

    (© Getty Images)

    And then finally, as he's taking his final steps across the field, the emotional, sensitive Inzi can't help come out from the calm, unflappable exterior we have seen all these years. The big man's crying....

    (© AFP)

    And holding back those tears, with all that has happened off late, isn't proving to be easy. Its only dawns on at the very last moment, reality, doesn't it? We take so many things for granted, and then suddenly you realise, oh no, its all going...

    © AFP)

    And then as Pakistan, for once last time under Inzi's leadership took the field to take a consolation victory against Zimbabwe, for their retiring captain and deceased coach, the rain came pouring down. Perhaps it was meant to be reminiscent of all that had gone down for Pakistan in these past few days, their World Cup hopes, their best batsman, their couldn't have got worse...

    (© Getty Images)

    Perhaps that was what made Inzi smile at the end, that things really couldn't get any worse from here on it, they could only get better. Good bye Inzi, goodbye Woolmer, hello brand new hope.

    Cross posted on Sundries

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    Thus spake Zainub Razvi @ 4:14 PM |
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