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The Pakistan cricket team, under the leadership of Wasim Akram, toured India in 1999 for a series of Test matches at Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata. The historical tour was Pakistan’s first to their neighbouring country after a gap of 12 years. Inzamam-ul-Haq, who later captained Pakistan in international cricket, was also a part of the touring party and he recently admitted that his then teammates wrongly appealed for the dismissal of Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly during their thrilling win in the series opener.
Inzamam-ul-Haq recently interacted with Indian off-spinner R Ashwin on the latter’s YouTube channel. During their interaction, the seasoned Indian bowler asked the former Pakistan captain about a certain controversial moment from an otherwise historic Chennai Test match in 1999. The match in contention was won by Pakistan by 12 runs, despite the run-chase batting heroics of Sachin Tendulkar.
R Ashwin asked Inzamam-ul-Haq about Sourav Ganguly’s dismissal in the innings and asked him whether he believes the veteran Indian batsman was in fact “out or not out”. The 120-Test veteran responded that he was not present on the field at the time and Azhar Mahmood was substituting for him. He said when Ganguly played the shot, the ball hit Mahmood’s body only to fly up which was then safely collected by then wicketkeeper Moin Khan.
Inzamam-ul-Haq said that even though he was not present on the field for that exact moment, he can say that the catch was indeed a “doubtful one”. Television replays later hinted that the ball had bounced off the ground after hitting Mahmood’s leg but inconclusive evidence prompted umpires to give Sourav Ganguly out. Upon Inzamam’s admission, R Ashwin agreed with his verdict and “saluted” him, and said even he thought the same when he saw the match live as a kid.
Pakistan had set a target of 271 for the Indian team to take the honours of the opening Test of the series. Sourav Ganguly’s dismissal reduced the hosts to 82-5, however, Sachin Tendulkar staged a rescue effort to bring India back on track. Tendulkar’s untimely dismissal to Saqlain Mushtaq triggered another batting collapse as they ended up losing the Test match by 12 runs.
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