'It was really shocking' - Vinod Kambli recalls when Inzamam-ul-Haq tried beating up a fan

‘It was really shocking’ – Vinod Kambli recalls when Inzamam-ul-Haq tried beating up a fan

For his action, Inzamam was banned for two matches and was even presented to the court.

Inzamam-ul-Haq
Inzamam-ul-Haq. (Photo Source: YouTube)

Bickering arguments and chanting altercations have always been a part of the game between the fans and the players. But sometimes they have been taken to the next level when the cricketers are left fired up. One such incident took place in a match between India and Pakistan during Sahara Cup in 1997 in Toronto.

On September 14, 1997, India and Pakistan were contending in the second match of the Sahara Cup, with the opener having been won by India by 20 runs. Remembering the incident when Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq had entered into the stands with a bat in his hand to beat up a fan, former India batsman Vinod Kambli said that he was shocked to see the incident break out.

During the second innings of the match, when India were chasing a target of 117, the crowd was on the backs of the Pakistan players, particularly, Inzamam-ul-Haq. According to Dawn, one supporter had taunted the former Pakistan captain by saying, “O mote, sidha khara ho [Hey fatty, stand straight], mota aloo, sara aloo [fat potato, rotten potato].”

Recalling it on ‘The Greatest Rivalry’ podcast, Vinod Kambli, part of the Indian team at the time, said it was ‘shocking’. Kambli recollected that just moments after Inzamam was sledged, he had signalled to the Pakistan twelfth man to bring him a bat.

“In fact, that incident, because we were sitting in the dressing room and our team was batting, the Indian team was batting, we were sitting there in the dressing room and then suddenly we saw Inzi just trying to signal for a bat,” Kambli said.

We were all questioning why a twelfth man was taking a bat to Inzamam: Vinod Kambli

The 48-year-old restated that the Indian dressing room was amazed as to why would the fielding opponent needs a bat. “We were all questioning why a twelfth man was taking a bat to Inzamam, and then the entire incident happened… for what it was, it was shocking, it was really shocking.”

The reason for Inzamam’s reaction was later revealed by Waqar Younis. Inzamam, who usually used to field in the slips, Waqar said, had been paying attention to the chants and asked permission to change his fielding position. The Pakistani speedster emphasized that the fan was also talking rubbish about Azharuddin’s wife and Inzamam didn’t like it.

“Yes, there was someone calling him ‘aloo’, but also, what exactly happened [was that] there was someone in the crowd who was not very good to Azharuddin’s wife. I think they were just talking rubbish and Inzi being Inzi, he didn’t really like it,” Waqar Younis had said.

Both the team’s captains have arbitrated and had asked the crowd to calm down after the incident. After a 40-minute delay, the match had resumed and India had eased to a seven-wicket win. For his action, Inzamam was banned for two matches and was even presented to the court. India had sealed the series with a 4-1 win over the arch-rivals.