Hafeez bhai said he would beat me with shoes if I get out playing reckless shot: Imam-ul-Haq

Pakistan won the 3rd ODI by seven wickets against Sri Lanka.

Imam-ul-Haq of Pakistan
Imam-ul-Haq of Pakistan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Pakistan’s man of the moment Imam-ul-Haq, who scored his maiden ODI hundred on debut against Sri Lanka yesterday (October 18) is on cloud nine, and why not? He became the only second Pakistan cricketer to achieve this feat in international cricket. Pakistan sealed a seven-wicket win in the third ODI and with that clinched the ODI series. The 21-year old youngster was awarded the man of the match for his match-winning 100 of 125 balls.

Imam is the nephew of former legendary cricket and current chief selector of Pakistan Inzamam-ul-Haq and as obvious as it seems, there was plenty of criticism after Imam was named in the squad. The left-handed batsman has done well in the U-19 games and followed it up in U-23 matches before making his mark in the domestic circuit in Pakistan.


Imam revealed Hafeez’s words

Post the game, Imam said in a causal tone that experienced batsman and his senior Mohammad Hafeez had told Imam that he would hit him if the debutant gets out playing an irresponsible shot. “He said tumhe jootey paren ge (you’d get beaten up with shoes) if you get out playing a reckless shot,” laughed Imam.

On the criticism he received for his relation with Inzamam, he said “My job is to focus on cricket and the critics’ job is to criticise,” he said,

“Then, when Hafeez bhai came to bat after Babar Azam got out, I told him my muscles were cramping due to the extreme heat. And he glared at me and said, ‘Imam, you have a golden chance to convert this inning to a memorable century. Don’t even dare to get out recklessly or you’d get a beating,’” the young batsman recalled.

When quizzed about who is the inspiration behind the cricketer. Imam said “I’ve learnt this from Younis Khan, how a player stays sincere with his game and achieves goals,”.