Dubai, Jan 30: Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former captain of Pakistan, today praised India's ex-skipper Sourav Ganguly as a "gifted cricketer" and said he was one of the "unluckiest greats" to not to have won the World Cup trophy maybe as it was "not in his fate".
Inzamam, who was part of a World Cup winning side, that too in his maiden appearance in 1992 under the leadership of Imran Khan, today revealed his list of 12 "greats" not to have won the World Cup, which they deserved to. (Match officials named for India-Pakistan clash)
The right-handed Pakistan mentioned Ganguly and two other Indian greats Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble in his list, on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) website on Friday.
"There are countless talented cricketers who had worked tirelessly throughout their careers to have their hands on the coveted ICC Cricket World Cup trophy, but the title of world champion eluded them," Inzamam wrote on ICC's website.
"I was one of those lucky ones to be part of the winning ICC Cricket World Cup squad when hardly anybody knew who Inzamam-ul-Haq was. While the sweet memory of that Crystal Ball at Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1992 is still fresh in my mind, I really feel sorry for greats like Sir Richard Hadlee, Zaheer Abbas, Abdul Qadir and Dennis Lillee who quit the game without winning the World Cup.
"While sitting back and recalling the names of those unluckiest greats, here's my team of 12 players, who deserved to be part of the winning World Cup sides, at least, once in their careers, but unfortunately couldn't do so," he added.
On Ganguly, Inzamam wrote, "Lady luck didn't smile on Sourav when in 2003 India lost to Australia in the final. I feel India progressed in one-day cricket during the captaincy of this gifted cricketer from Bengal. He was one of those cricketers, who played beautifully on the off-side of the wicket. Most of the time he scored, India won. However, maybe World Cup was not in his fate."
The Pakistan also praised Dravid, saying, "The cornerstone of India batting and appropriately known as the ‘Wall', Rahul carried the India team with his wide range of stroke-selection and finished with nearly 11,000 ODI runs. Along with Sourav, Sachin and Virender, he formed one of the strongest batting line-ups. Unfortunately, the foursome couldn't win the World Cup together. Like Sourav, Rahul ‘s best chance to win the World Cup was in 2003 but Ricky Ponting spoilt the party for them."
On Kumble, he said, "A miser leg-spinner, who didn't like to be hit for runs. Anil was not a big spinner of the cricket ball, but kept batsmen thinking with his superb line and length. Whenever he got favorable turfs, he was there to turn the tables on the opponents. He was probably the only spinner who was not shy of showing aggression like the fast bowlers. Again, his World Cup hopes were probably dashed at Centurion in 2003."
Inzamam's list of 12 "unluckiest greats" to have missed out on World Cup trophy
1. Saeed Anwar (Pakistan)
2. Sourav Ganguly (India)
3. Brian Lara (West Indies)
4. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
5. Martin Crowe (New Zealand)
6. Rahul Dravid (India)
7. Ian Botham (England)
8. Anil Kumble (India)
9. Waqar Younis (Pakistan)
10. Allan Donald (South Africa)
11. Curtly Ambrose (West Indies)
12. Jonty Rhodes (South Africa)