PSL 2019: Peshawar Zalmi welcome tournament debutant Imam-ul-Haq
Imam has been a consistent performer at the international circuit.
Updated - Feb 13, 2019 7:38 pm
Pakistan opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq has been making headlines for cricketing as well as non-cricketing reasons in his short career so far but was never considered for the popular Pakistan Super League (PSL). However, the nephew of former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq found himself picked by a franchise for the fourth edition of the PSL starting Friday and it is the Peshawar Zalmi.
The 23-year-old Imam recently ended as the Man of the Series in a five-game ODI series in South Africa although his team lost it 2-3. The left-handed batsman has been quite prolific in his scoring in the 50-overs format and recently completed 1,000 runs in it. He was the second fastest to 1,000 ODI runs after his team-mate, Fakhar Zaman. He averages over 60 in just 21 games he has played since his debut in 2017 and has already slammed five hundreds.
Big chance for Imam to show his mettle in T20s as well
In the T20s, however, Imam hasn’t been as effective so far. He is yet to feature in a T20I for Pakistan and in the 29 T20s he has played, Imam has scored at a strike-rate of just over 115, which is certainly not among the best. That could have been one reason why he hasn’t been picked in the PSL so far even though he has a healthy average of 40-plus in the shortest format.
However, the Zalmi, who recently launched their kit and anthem in the presence of captain Darren Sammy, welcomed Imam to his maiden PSL in a tweet.
Here is Zalmi’s tweet
— PeshawarZalmi (@PeshawarZalmi) February 13, 2019
Zalmi, who won the tournament in 2017 and lost the final to Islamabad United last year will play their first match of PSL 4 against Quetta Gladiators in Dubai on February 15. For Imam-ul-Haq, it will be a key opportunity for more than one reason. He will get an opening to show his skills as a T20 batsman and make a place in the Pakistan team ahead of next year’s World T20 in Australia.
He will also look forward to making use of the chance to continue with his good show as vital preparation for the World Cup starting in England and Wales in a few months’ time. On top of it, this is also a chance for Imam to shed the accusations of nepotism that are brought against him often.