Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq has opined that players being underpaid compared to nations like India is one reason youngsters cannot express themselves freely out in the middle.
In an interaction on the YouTube channel Cricast, Imam-ul-Haq opened up on the issue of financial security for cricketers.
“For a cricketer, money matters a lot. He derives a lot of confidence from getting a good pay. When you know you are financially very strong, you are relaxed mentally. Unfortunately, while that is the case in India, things are not the same here. When a player is selected from PSL or domestic cricket, he is definitely worried a bit. He has the fear that if he does not perform in a couple of games, he could be dropped and might not get a chance to represent Pakistan ever again.
“That is why our players go into a shell and new players struggle. Players will need to come out of this. At the same time, we also need to give them extra cushion. We often question why we are unpredictable, that is because our team is unpredictable. We keep chopping and changing. To be consistent, our team needs to be consistent. If your top-order changes after every three game, how can you expect us to chase 350 plus regularly.”
The 25-year-old revealed that he has even spoken to legends like Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli on why their (white-ball) teams are incredibly successful and how they managed to maintain consistency.
Imam-ul-Haq said that he was told it was all about giving players a fair chance to showcase their skills.
“I have spoken to Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli, two of the most successful captains in white-ball cricket. I have heard from them and their players that the cricketers get a full go and a proper run to prove themselves. I think this is where we are lacking. I think if we find that consistency, we will get better results. In South Africa, we managed to chase 330, becausethe core of the ODI side has been the same for a while.”
IPL has made a big difference to Indian cricket: Imam-ul-Haq
Like so many other current and former cricketers, Imam-ul-Haq also agreed the IPL has had a major role in India’s rise in international cricket.
“In India, IPL has made a big difference. The batsmen face the same bowlers in international cricket whom they have already faced in IPL and have even done well against them. So when they face these bowlers in international cricket, there is less of a mental barrier. For Pakistan, a player is directly drafted in from domestic cricket, so he finds it difficult to make that immediate adjustment.”
Imam-ul-Haq played four matches for Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan leg of PSL 2021 and scored 89 runs at a strike rate of 121.91.
Peshawar Zalmi will face Lahore Qalandars at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi tonight.