Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq dismisses suggestions of favouritism

Imam-ul-Haq has brushed aside suggestions of favouritism as his spot in the Pakistan side comes under pressure.

Imam-ul-Haq is the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain had been Pakistan’s chief selector until the end of their current World Cup campaign.

The opening batsman had a middling World Cup scoring 305 runs in 8 innings. His tournament included a fifty and a hundred in Pakistan’s final World Cup match against Bangladesh.

However, Imam, 23, was adamant that suggestions Inzamam’s presence was a reason for his spot in the team were false.

“Our public is innocent and they believe whatever they are told. I believe in Allah. I am playing because he has destined it to be so.”

Imam has statistically been one of the best in the world when it comes to his output of runs. The opening batsman averages 54.58 in his ODI career. However, his career strike rate is only 80.57 and it is this fact which has attracted criticism. It is a factor which Imam recognises he can improve.

“I do feel that I can improve my career strike rate from where it is today. But, we have to realise my role in the team. I open with Fakhar, who is an aggressive batsman. He is given the role to play aggressive cricket while I have to anchor the innings. Babar and I have the same roles. Sometimes the opposition bowls well and you have to give them the respect because of which things don’t go to plan for us. But whenever either of us has batted deep, we have touched 300 to 310.”

The 23-year-old also suggested that the criticism over his role in the side was near-inevitable and highlighted how it had made him stronger mentally.

“Such talk has taught me a lot and made me strong mentally. It does hurt, but I try to take it positively. It is true that even if I perform in ten matches but fail in two, I am criticised. But I try not to be bothered and try to win my fans over with my performances. Neither you nor I can say what my future is. It is only Allah who knows. My responsibility is to perform and the rest is on up to the PCB.”

JOEL KIFFIN / Getty Images

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