Pakistan's left-handed opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq has opened up on nepotism accusations and the severe social media trolling that he has been subjected to since cementing his spot in the national squad.
Imam-ul-Haq was inducted into the side when his paternal uncle and the former Pakistan skipper, Inzamam-ul-Haq, was the Chief Selector at the Pakistan Cricket Board.
In a startling revelation, the 24-year-old southpaw said he cried in the shower for hours after being immensely disheartened by the trolls and abuses that were hurled at him.
“I remember crying in the shower for hours that I haven’t even played yet [he played the third ODI of the series in Abu Dhabi]. The only thing running constantly in my mind was that I haven’t even played [for the national team] yet, what if I play and don’t perform well? Then my career will be over. I wouldn’t step a foot out of my room, fearing people might trouble me outside, because there is a large Pakistan community in Dubai.”
I would have my meals all alone: Imam-ul-Haq
While speaking to Deep Dasgupta, Imam-ul-Haq further touched upon how he began having his meals alone after being subjected to nepotism accusations:
“When all of this started happening, I would have my meals all alone. It was my first tour and you know how it can get on the first tour. And whenever I would open my phone, there were people tagging me on social media posts or sending me stuff. I was very disheartened and couldn’t understand anything.”
Imam-ul-Haq managed to silence his critics and naysayers by notching up a wonderful century on his ODI debut against Sri Lanka, becoming only the second Pakistani to achieve such a feat in the format.
He has a splendid ODI record so far, averaging north of 53 in 37 matches with 7 tons to his name already. In fact, he is the first player in the history of the format to score 4 tons in first 9 ODI matches. Imam-ul-Haq is also the second fastest batsman to reach 1,000 ODI runs, reaching the landmark in mere 19 games.