Image courtesy of: Pakistan Cricket Board
Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Imran has revealed that he initially had plans to become a Kabaddi player.
Imran, who is currently representing Southern Punjab in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, noted that he “always had a passion for cricket”, but had to forego it and “concentrate on Kabaddi in my school years”.
But, with his love for cricket burning so bright, the 23-year-old recalled how he used to stay after school and wait for tape ball matches to get underway.
“I always had a passion for cricket but since Kabaddi was a popular sport in the area I lived in, I had to forego my love for cricket and concentrate on Kabaddi in my school years,” he was quoted as saying by PakPassion.
“But I persisted as I had a lot of passion for cricket, in fact so much passion that I would stay back after school and wait until evening for the tape-ball games to begin. I would miss out on lunch and only after playing until late at night would I go home, such was my love for cricket. My hard work did pay off in the end as I became the first to play First-class cricket from my area in Khanewal district.
“I played cricket at regional Under-19 level for Bahawalpur from 2013 but was not able to find a place in the senior District level teams which made me feel really disheartened. During this time, I had an opportunity to play in a Kabaddi tournament in Sindh in 2014 because playing that game was a good way to earn money.
“During that trip, I had a yearning to do some net practice and I went to a local ground where a former First-class cricketer Azhar Shafiq spotted me. He was really impressed with my batting and spoke to me and when I explained that I was starting to lose interest in cricket, he gave me an opportunity to play in a team he was running locally and I did not disappoint him.
“From that point I moved away from Kabaddi and cricket became my only sport. I played Grade 2 and did well in it and finally made my debut in First-class cricket in 2015 for SNGPL.”
Imran has done well in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy as he has scored 124 runs in three matches, which includes a century, at an average of 41.33.
He has also taken nine wickets at an average of 27.88.