Debutant hero Imam-ul-Haq, who became only the second Pakistani to score a ton in his first ODI revealed the reason behind his debutant performance in 3rd ODI against Sri Lanka. He said ‘Professor Hafeez’ warned him not to get out recklessly.
“He said tumhy jootey paren gy, (you’d get beaten up with shoes) if you get out playing a reckless shot,” Imam joked, as he talked about his emotions following a Man-of-the Match knock of 100 off 125 balls which helped guide Pakistan to a seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the third ODI and seal the series.
The 21-year old left-hander, who is the nephew of Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, said he felt quite a bit of pressure when he was named in the ODI squad, but upon arrival in UAE he mingled well with the other players and the pressure subsided.
Responding to a question from the media, Imam admitted that he and his uncle Inzamam faced a lot of criticism over his selection, but my job is to focus on cricket and the critics’ job is to criticise,” he said, adding that when he performs nobody will criticise him without reason.
Imam, who played in the U-19 World Cup, said Mohammad Hafeez had told him while presenting him the ODI cap that he’d play a long inning.
“Then, when Hafeez bhai came to bat after Babar Azam got out, I told him my muscles were cramping due to the extreme heat. And he glared at me and said, ‘Imam, you have a golden chance to convert this inning to a memorable century. Don’t even dare to get out recklessly or you’d get a beating,’” the young batsman recalled.
Imam said it is not his fault that the chief selector is his uncle. However, he admitted he would keep getting reminded of the relation.
Imam-ul-Haq scored 848 runs in 2016 home domestic season with an unbeaten 200 in the final to go with it. Imam-ul-Haq has played in 2 U19 World Cups for Pakistan. One in 2012 and the second time in 2014. Imam was the second highest run scorer at 2014 019 wc – 368 runs at 63.66. Phewwwww!
Imam-ul-Haq scored a century on ODI debut and become the third youngest batsman to score 100 on ODI debut. Imam-ul-Haq also became the second Pakistan batsman to score 100 on ODI debut.