“They would call me parchi in front of my parents” - Imam-ul-Haq opens up on how nepotism taunts affected him

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Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq (Pic: Getty Images)

Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq has opened up on how constant taunts of nepotism affected him, especially during the early years of his international career.

He described the period as mental torture, as his parents could not watch him play. He revealed that at many places he would go, he would be referred to as "parchi" (a word that means a chit of paper and hints at nepotism).

Imam (27) made his debut in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi in October 2017. His uncle, the legendary Inzamam-ul-Haq, headed the selection panel, leading to nepotism accusations.

The left-hander, though, scored a hundred on debut and was even named the Player of the Match as Pakistan hammered Sri Lanka by seven wickets. On Daniyal Sheikh’s podcast, Imam revealed that his parents do not come to the stadium to watch him play due to nepotism allegations.

“When I used to go out to dinner with my family, they would come up and call me parchi in front of my parents. I would be sitting at Nando’s with my family, and there would be young students quipping ‘look, the parchi is sitting there’. That was when I would feel the worst,” said Imam, while referring to the first three years of his international career.
“My parents want to watch me play, but they have not seen me play at a venue even once. Even I don’t want them to. I don’t want my mother hear someone utter parchi when I am fielding on the boundary. All this is normal to me. Whenever I am dismissed cheaply, they will not look at what I have achieved in my past but simply utter parchi. I do not want my family to be exposed to that,” the batter added.

Imam also said that the first time his sister watched him play was as recently as 2022.

“The first time my sister watched me play was in 2022, when both West Indies (ODIs) and England (a Test match) played at Multan. By then, I was a senior member of the side. The fact that my family could not attend the matches was a mental torture for me,” the cricketer said.

The opener is currently representing Pakistan in the ODI series against Afghanistan. He scored 61 off 94 as Pakistan hammered Afghanistan by 142 runs in the first game.

Imam-ul-Haq career stats

Imam has represented Pakistan in 22 Tests, 60 ODIs and two T20Is. He has scored 1474 runs in Tests at an average of 38.78, with three hundreds and eight fifties.

In ODIs, he has smashed 2780 runs at an impressive average of 51.48, with nine hundreds and 17 fifties, and scored 21 runs at an average of 10.50 in two T20Is.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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