Imam-ul-Haq is the newest rising talent of the country in cricket. Literally, his recent success in Pak v SL match has brought him into the spotlight for his impeccable game-play and amazing cricket skills.
Born in 1995, he is 22 years of age at the moment and hails from the city of Lahore. He is a left-handed batsman in the Pakistani cricket team who is playing as a top order batsman. He wears an ODI shirt with number 26.
Imam-ul-Haq made his ODI debut against Srilanka in the series of matches that took place in 2017. He was named as a member of the 2017 squad that was playing against Srilanka. He has replaced Ahmad Shahzad to make his place in the squad. In his first match of an international level, he scores his ODI debut Century against Srilanka on October 18th, 2017. At the match played in Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE, he made a total 100 off 125 balls which is his highest international score till date.
Imam-ul-Haq did not just appear out of nowhere. He has been playing in the Under-16 and Under 18 teams for a while now. He has a spotless reputation in his Under 19 team. The Pakistani cricketer has shown his skills of batsmanship in two Under 19 world cups. At that level, the players are still young and in the phase of learning which means that their performances aren’t exactly that great.
However, Imam-ul-Haq has stunned everyone by being one of the 18 players who has scored 1000 runs in the Under 19 Squad so far at that level. At Senior Level, he played a domestic season that was worth watching and a lot of his talent show through his batting during that time taking everyone by surprise. He has played in 31 First Class Matches and has performed in 24 List A Games so far. He played in the Habib Bank Limited cup in 2016 in which he made 200 runs while staying not out, in the finals of the cup. In domestic matches, he has played for Team Lions so far.
Place in Pakistan Cup
Imam-ul-Haq was not a part of the squad that was to play in the Pakistan Cup that takes place between teams of different provinces from within the country. During the tournament, it was announced that Misbah ul Haq was leaving for Umrah and Imam was to take his place. The 20 year old had never played in a tournament like that ever before and it was startling news for many to learn that he will be replacing Misbah. There were also rumors that he was to be the Captain of Team Islamabad in the absence of former captain Misbah ul Haq for the rest of the course of this tournament.
Claims of Nepotism
The young lad was accused of being a result of nepotism since he is the nephew of Inzimam-ul-Haq, a former Pakistani cricketer who was a batsman and even served as the Captain of Pakistani cricket team. People claimed that PCB had resorted to favoritism in terms of choosing players now and that was not acceptable. Inzamam currently serves as the Chief Selector in PCB for Pakistani cricket team and for his nephew to be chosen for a tournament out of the blue was a little fishy.
Imam’s Performance in Pakistan Cup
To prove all these claims wrong, Imam put up a commendable performance that led many to appreciate him for his talent and skills. He made his ODI debut under the captaincy of Kamran Akmal, the new Captain of the Islamabad team. He made a 197 partnership, playing with Kamran Akmal, his captain and it was one stunning performance. This partnership is the highest partnership score made at the Pakistan Cup in 2017 so far.
He also got a chance to make his debut century in the tournament. He made his first century playing against Baluchistan Team. His total score was a whopping 102 off 126 balls, which is quite praiseworthy for a beginner at this level. Although his team lost the match and ended up being at the bottom of the leaderboard, the youngster’s performance was much liked by the viewers and the higher authorities.
Further Plans for Imam-ul-Haq
Imam-ul-Haq seemed to have become a favorite now. The youngster managed to make his way to the national team going up from Under 16 and Under 19. With PSL coming up, it can be expected that he will be the part of PSL 3 that is to take place in the early months of 2018. It is not confirmed yet which team he will be a part of it but it is positive that with his recent performance, all the teams will have their eyes on him and will want him to play for them. Check the list of All Foreign Players in Peshawar Zalmi
It is great that new talent is rising and making a mark in national and international cricket. Gems like Imam-ul-Haq are bound to make us proud in the international cricket stadiums and tournaments. We can only hope that his performance will not decline with increased fame and that we see some more thrilling innings from this young lad soon in the PSL 3.
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