What is Imam-ul-Haq hoping will happen on Friday?

Imam-ul-Haq determined make Test debut against Ireland Pakistan cricket

Imam-ul-Haq: “I’m very hopeful that I’ll do well in this series”

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Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq has admitted that it will be a dream come true for him if he gets the opportunity to make his Test debut in the historic match against Ireland on Friday.

Imam, the nephew of former Pakistan captain and current chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, has been in excellent form going into the fixture as he made 61 in the warm-up match against Kent and followed it up scores of 11 and 59 not out against Northamptonshire.

“It’s a very proud feeling,” Imam, who scored a century on his ODI debut, was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Everybody knows that Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan have just retired and our young guys have to do a lot of work.

“It’s always good to come and prove a point, and we’re looking forward to this series. I have been scoring runs in the two four-day matches and that gives me confidence. I’m very hopeful that I’ll do well in this series.

“Obviously it will be my first Test match, my first pressure match. I will be very nervous, I won’t lie – that’s what we play for, that’s my dream since I grew up, to play Test cricket for your country. I didn’t think I would play my first Test match in Ireland, so it’s different but as a sportsman you have to be ready for everything.”

With Ireland also making their Test debut on Friday, Imam doesn’t want to see Pakistan fall to the hosts, which shockingly occurred during the 2007 World Cup.

“I remember that match, it was a very big day for Ireland cricket and a very sad day for Pakistan,” Imam said. “But in sport, these things happen. On the same day, India lost as well against Bangladesh, so we were happy. Jokes apart, it was a sad day for Pakistan as a nation, so hopefully we’ll get our own back by winning the Test.

“They are playing their first Test match, so we want to give them good luck, it’s very good for Irish cricket. We hope they will play good and be a very good side in future.”

Pakistan currently sit in seventh place on the rankings, but even though they are going up against a side with no Test experience Imam pointed out that his side cannot afford to underestimate Ireland.

“Cricket is a funny game and you can’t take any side lightly,” Imam said. “We have to do our best, and we have to prove a point and win the game. It doesn’t matter, against Ireland or England, we have to play good cricket and that will give us confidence, and make our youngsters to do well in the England series. The conditions are difficult, as you see the rain and the wicket will be tough because it’s early [summer] here.

“It’s a very young side Test cricket is different, you need patience over here and it tests your fitness as well. Back home we had a very tough camp, so we are very hopeful and very excited. We’re hoping to do something very special here inshallah.

“We’ve been working hard, as a subcontinent nation it’s difficult to perform over here in England and Ireland. We’ve had two very good four-day matches, the guys were working hard and talking to our batting coach. There are personal goals there, we’re working on it and inshallah we’ll do well.”

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