Former Pakistan opener Imran Nazir recently revealed that losing the T20 World Cup final to India in 2007 will remain the biggest regret of his life when it comes to cricket. He added that he should have single-handedly won Pakistan the match after giving them a flying start.
“Cricket-wise it will remain the biggest regret of my life. It will continue to hurt till my last breath. We had a chance to create history.”
Imran Nazir, who was Pakistan’s third-highest run-getter in the tournament, admitted that it deeply hurts him to think that Pakistan were firmly in control before the match slipped away immediately after his dismissal. He continued:
“From a personal point of view, I can say, I should’ve won that match single-handedly for Pakistan like I had done in ISL because when a player starts middling the ball he has the confidence...I was playing really well then, unfortunately, got run out and the match slowly slipped away, it still hurts.”
Chasing 158 for victory, Pakistan lost two wickets for a meagre 26 runs. It was Imran Nazir who then took the attack to India, helping Pakistan cross the 50-run mark in the sixth over. He was on 33 off 14 balls when a direct hit from Robin Uthappa caught him short of the crease.
‘What matters, in the end, is how you finish’: Imran Nazir
From 53 for 2, Pakistan slumped to 104 for 7 before eventually losing the match by five runs. Imran Nazir said that the magnitude of the match was enhanced by the crowd atmosphere in Johannesburg that day. He recalled:
“To reach the finals of the first-ever T20 World Cup and then the kind of crowd and atmosphere was there in the finals, these sort of things stay with you always. I knew whoever performs well that day will win... I had given a good start, had built a solid partnership but what matters, in the end, is how you finish, which we couldn’t.”
Pakistan, however, won the following edition of the tournament in 2009 but Imran Nazir missed out on the showpiece event due to injury.
Imran Nazir has scored 2,822 runs in 8 Tests, 79 ODIs and 25 T20Is.