Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq has made it clear that he is determined to lead the national team to World Cup glory this year.
Imam has been in red-hot form as of late and was one of the standout performers for Pakistan in their recent tour of South Africa.
In the three-Test series, Imam scored 149 runs, which included a lone half-century, at an average of 24.83.
He followed that up with 271 runs, which included a century and two fifties, in the five-match ODI series at an average of 54.20.
With the World Cup beginning in May, Imam is eager to maintain his phenomenal start to his ODI career, which has seen him accumulate 1,090 runs in 21 matches at an average of 60.55.
Pakistan’s only World Cup victory came in 1992, under the captaincy of the country’s current Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Of course, first is to get a chance to play the World Cup and then to win it,” he was quoted as saying by PakPassion. “It will make me proud if I can help Pakistan win the World Cup.”
Imam is currently featuring in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he is representing the Peshawar Zalmi.
In the six matches he has played, he has amassed 181 runs, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 30.16.
Having made a decent start to his PSL campaign, the 23-year-old is eager to use the tournament as a launching pad to get him into the Twenty20 side as he has yet to make his Twenty20 International debut.
“I believe in hard work and leave the rest to Allah,” he said. “I remain positive and I have the ability, fitness and the resolve to play all three formats. I regularly work on my power hitting, so I hope to get a chance in T20Is as well.”
Meanwhile, Imam once again made it clear that he doesn’t want to be compared to his uncle Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is widely regarded as one of Pakistan’s greatest batsmen and captains.
Since making his international debut, Imam has constantly been targeted as some believe he is only in the team due to Inzamam, who currently serves as Pakistan’s chief selector.
“It’s wrong to compare me with my uncle (Inzamam). He is a living legend and I pray I can come even close to what he achieved. But my wholehearted effort is to always do well under pressure and to help my team win,” Imam said. “That will make my career and make my identity stronger.”