Pakistan News

Imam-ul-Haq opens up about nepotism accusations

Opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq believes he has been a victim of nepotism and wants the people to accept him.

The 23-year-old, who is the nephew of former Pakistan captain and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, told The Cricketer, that he fears he won’t be able to change people’s perception towards him.

“I don’t think it will change, unfortunately,” Imam said.

“People will never accept me. That’s what I think. I will be very pleased if people were to accept me as Imam-ul-Haq and not as someone’s nephew,” he added.

“People think he [Inzamam] instructed Mickey Arthur to select me. They forget that we are living in 2019, where the media is everywhere. I can’t be here without my performances. I would be exposed in two minutes. They don’t see that I’ve gone through the process. But they see that I’m a nephew of Inzamam and they believe that they have the right to bash me.”

Pakistan’s batsman Imam-ul-Haq celebrates as he gets his 100 runs during the third ODI match between South Africa and Pakistan at the Supersport Park cricket stadium on January 25, 2019 in Centurion. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP/Getty Images)

The 23-year-old said that Inzamam would not have risked his reputation if he was not sure that he deserved a place in the side.

“Inzamam is a legend of Pakistani cricket,” Imam said.

“People don’t understand – why would he take a chance on me? He has the biggest reputation in Pakistan – he is a legend and a superstar. Why would he take that chance on a young guy if he’s not talented? Why would he take that risk? It’s not me. It’s about him. He’s the biggest star of Pakistani cricket. Why would he change that reputation?”

“They don’t think that when I have two failures in a row, I have a hell of a lot of pressure. Other players are under pressure, but my pressure is immense. After two failures, I know that people will forget everything that I have done for Pakistan,” he added.

“I’m a different Imam-ul-Haq to what I was. Now I don’t care what people say. I know what I’m doing and what I have to do and what I have to work on. I don’t fear failure. They will come. It is cricket. How to learn from your mistakes is the most important thing,” Imam said.

“It has been two years and the people criticising are still the same. I know they won’t change. They won’t change their perspective – they think it’s fun, but it’s not. It’s my career,” the batsman added.

He said that he wants to win games for Pakistan and do something for the country.

Imam shared that he gets emotional every time Pakistan loses.

“I cry a lot when Pakistan lose. If people criticise Babar Azam or Yasir Shah or Mohammad Amir, it hurts me. I know how difficult it is to be in this team, the difficulties we have to suffer to be here,” Imam shared.

“I know people love us. When we win, they are out of this world. But we have to concentrate on the fact that it is just a game. Not a war,” he said.  “I just want to tell the Pakistani people that I love them. That whatever they say, I will take it and I will try and make them happy.”

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