Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq on Tuesday recalled the horrific 2002 Karachi bomb blast on the morning of the second Test between Pakistan and New Zeland, It was a suicide bomb attack outside the Pearl Continental Hotel where the players of the two teams were staying.
The blast had abandoned New Zealand's tour of Pakistan and the visitors left on the first available flight in the night.
Inzamam, recalling the horrifying incident, said that the players of the two teams were just gearing up to leave for the stadium. He added that the players were in fact having their breakfast.
"When we went to Karachi there was a bomb blast. The blast happened after the 1st Test match in Lahore. Thanks to God that no player got injured. It was a horror full day. My room was on the side where the bomb blast happened. The mirrors from one side of my room broke and flew to the other side of wall. It happened with every room on that side of the hotel. I ran downstairs and when I reached there I saw New Zealand players crying in the swimming pool."
"I myself watched that the mirrors and the curtains have come off but still asked the policeman about what just happened. He said it's a bomb blast and asked me to go downstairs. The New Zealand team went back home that day and even our players could not sleep for at least 1 week," Inzamam-ul-Haq recalled.
It was reported that the target of the bomb attack was not the players but the French naval technicians working on a submarine project in Karachi. A bus carrying the technicians had pulled up across the street where the hotel was. It further added that 10 French nationals lost their lives owing to the blast. None of the players or team staff members were injured barring the New Zealand physio who incurred a minor cut from flying glass.
Pakistan had, however, won the opening Test match by 324 runs riding on a record-breaking 392 scored by Inzamam, who had become the second batsman from his nation to amass a triple ton in an innings.
"329 was a very memorable inning for me as it's my biggest innings. The special thing about that day was that it was extremely hot. Imran Nazir also made a hundred then and we were on top. As I built my innings, the poor Kiwi players were getting very tired. When I passed 300, their body language told me that you can score as much as you want, just let us go
"If I had batsmen alongside me and we were 5-6 down, I think I had the opportunity to make a world record. There was enough time and the runs were also coming fast. Maybe I could have gone on to make more than 400 runs. I just needed one more hour to get to make a world-record,” Inzamam said.