Pakistan opener Imamul Haq’s befitting response to an Indian journalist has become the talk of the town ahead of the Asia Cup in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
During a media talk after Pakistan’s training session at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Academy in Dubai, Imam was asked whether his sleeping habits were similar to that of his uncle and Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq.
“Your uncle Inzamamul Haq used to sleep a lot, do you also like to sleep a lot like him?,” the journalist asked.
Imam was quick to come up with a cheeky reply: “How do you know that, have you slept with him?”
While talking about the upcoming event, Imam revealed that the Men in Green’s preparations are in full swing and team’s focus is not solely on the match against India.
“All matches are same for me whether its Hong Kong or India as the pressure levels will be similar in all games,” he said. “We are looking at every opponent and preparing for that game and not only worrying about playing against India.”
He added that the Men in Blue are a quality ODI outfit but the absence of star player and captain Virat Kohli ‘will make a difference’.
While talking about the clash against arch-rivals India, Imam said the Green Caps will focus on playing aggressive and fearless cricket.
“We just want to play aggressive cricket and results since the 2017 Champions Trophy are there for everyone to see,” he said. “You have to really control your nerves in India-Pakistan games as things can easily go against you in such matches.”
He further said that, he is no stranger to being called out for nepotism. The nephew of Pakistani chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imam is often in the news for being related to the chief selector than his achievements on the field.
“I confess the media unnecessarily criticises me, but I have silenced them with my performance before and will continue to do so,” he said.
The 22-year-old who is part of the national squad that will take part in the upcoming Asia Cup said, “When I scored a double century in the final for HBL, the media wasn’t on my side. When I scored for Pakistan A against Bangladesh, the media was nowhere. When I was selected for the national team, I was called Inzamam’s nephew. When I scored my first century it was called a chance.”
“When I helped the team win the Test match against Ireland in Dublin, the media didn’t say anything. When I scored three centuries against Zimbabwe, I was told not to make a big deal about it because Zimbabwe is weaker side,” the opener said.
The batsman further said, “I want to have a memorable Asia Cup where people will remember me for my performance.”
However, the opening batsman said, “Being related to a high profile cricketing personality has been damaging for him.”
“I scored 110, 113, 0, 44 and 128 against Zimbabwe, but no one appreciated my performance. The criticism has only made me stronger and I will perform well in the Asia Cup,” he added.
When asked about the pressure that he faces by being related to Inzamam, the batsman said, “It is not my fault that I am related to him.”
“I just want to be Imam-ul-Haq,” he added.
Pakistan will begin their Asia Cup campaign on September 16 with the match against Hong Kong while they will face off with India on September 19. Both matches will be played in Dubai.