Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq recently narrated an incident which involved Imran Khan taking over the team captaincy while sitting in the dressing room during a one-off ODI against India at the Eden Gardens in 2004.
Inzamam recalled the instance when Imran Khan set out a player with a message asking Salman Butt to retire, given the southpaw was suffering from cramps.
“He had kind of taken over captaincy. Salman Butt was batting with me. He suffered cramps. So a teammate came running in with a message. I thought I’m the captain who is sending me messages. He told me 'Imran bhai has said Salman Butt is having troubles with his hamstring, tell him to retire hurt, take treatment and then go back onto the field,'" Inzamam said.
It was when Inzamam and Butt were building a partnership that the latter started suffering from cramps. On Imran Khan's insistence, Butt went back to the pavilion and received treatment.
He returned later in the innings and scored a hundred as Pakistan ended up winning the match comfortably by six wickets, with an over to spare while chasing India’s 293-run target.
In addition to Salman Butt’s unbeaten knock of 108 from 130 balls deliveries, captain Inzamam (75 off 75) and Shoaib Malik (61 off 55) also made significant contributions.
Imran Khan added more pressure to the cause: Inzamam
Inzamam further mentioned that he was under immense pressure in that game, considering various factors that played a role in highlighting the importance of that game for him. The 50-year-old also added that as if the pressure of the one-off encounter against arch-rivals India was not enough, the mere presence of Imran Khan in the dressing room just doubled it up.
“It was just only one match so the pressure was much more. The second big pressure was of Imran Khan, who was watching the match from our dressing room. I have played under Imran bhai,” recounts Inzamam.
Inzamam made his debut for Pakistan against West Indies on November 22 at the Gaddafi Stadium and went on to play 120 Test matches, 378 ODIs and just the lone T20I for the national side.