Imam-ul-Haq voices against playing without spectators: The Pakistani opening batsman doesn’t want to miss the “charm” of full houses.
Having made seven centuries and six half-centuries in 37 ODIs, Pakistan opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq has had an exceptional start to his ODI career. However, the 24-year old player hasn’t been able to put on display similar results in other formats.
While he averages 25.52 in 11 Tests, he has only played a couple of T20Is. Another opening batsman in Abid Ali scoring two centuries in three Tests has worked against Imam’s favour.
Still a vital part of the ODI Playing XI, Imam opened up on playing across formats and working hard to ensure that his numbers improve in Tests and T20Is as well during a video conferencing with reporters.
“I am a Pakistani cricketer, and every cricketer wants to play in all three formats. You learn from your experiences, and that’s true of me as much as everyone else. My responsibility and focus is to do my best. I played only one Test match in Australia, after which I was dropped because I didn’t perform in two innings. I was obviously upset, as I believed I’d get another chance in Pakistan [vs Bangladesh].
“But you don’t always get what you want. I performed in ODI cricket to start off but that doesn’t mean I’m going to start off the same way in Test cricket, too. And when things don’t go the way you wish, all you need to do is work harder. I’m still part of the Test squad, and while I might not be in the XI, I’m just as happy and proud to serve as 12th man as I am as opener. I haven’t played 35-40 Tests; I’ve only played 11, and all of them out of Pakistan. But I learnt from them and tried to iron out the mistakes I made. I thought about my mindset, and tried to replicate the mindset I have in ODIs in Test cricket,” Imam was quoted as saying.
Imam-ul-Haq voices against playing without spectators
In addition to the one-off ODI and the second Test of Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan, Pakistan’s tour of Netherlands has also been postponed as an aftermath of the novel COVID-19 pandemic. With no uncertainty around when cricket will resume across the globe, there is a high probability of matches being played without spectators.
— Imam Ul Haq (@ImamUlHaq12) March 30, 2020
Much like Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, Imam has also voiced against playing international cricket, especially the ICC World T20 World Cup, in front of empty stadiums. “I feel cricket without crowds is strange. If the World T20 happens, I’d like to see crowds at the tournament. There is a charm to full houses for the players, and the whole dynamic and atmosphere changes when crowds are present.
“Ultimately, it is a decision for the ICC and the respective boards, and I’m sure they’ll take players into consultation before they decide. We’ve all heard that the World T20 may be postponed, but let’s hope for the best and hope the situation improves in the next month or so. We need to take into account player and crowd safety, too,” Imam said.