Imam-ul-Haq burst on to the international scene with a spectacular century against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded ODI series. To add to his celebrations, Pakistan inflicted a 5-0 whitewash on the Lankans for their sixth whitewash ever. He became only the second Pakistani batsman to score a hundred on ODI debut and 13th overall when he struck 100 runs from 125 balls to keep Pakistan soaring. Before him, Saleem Elahi had become the first Pakistan player to score a century on ODI debut.
Such was the euphoria following the 22-year-old’s century, he was inundated with phone calls and messages that he had to shut off his mobile internet. “After I scored the century I received calls and messages of congratulations from around 300-400 female fans. My social media was [flooded]. Finally I switched off my mobile internet,” laughed Imam while speaking to Geo News. “I hadn’t even imagined scoring a century on debut. I’m happy I could be of use to the team. I’m thankful to all my fans for their encouragement,” Imam added.
After the contest, Imam had said he wasn’t aware of the record but was only told when he returned to the dressing room. “Honestly, I didn’t know about that record. Once I had gone back to the dressing room Sarfraz Ahmed told me. Great feeling to score a hundred on debut. It’s a proud moment for me, very happy to do it for Pakistan. It makes no difference to me because I have grown up in a (cricketing) family. I have self-belief and I am mature. I have played in Junior World Cups and have performed well to win in domestic matches. My best answer is to perform. If I don’t perform then people will criticise.” Imam is the nephew of former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq who also happens to be the chief selector.
Further in the conversation, Imam said his dream is to win the World Cup. “In any format, I want to win a World Cup for my team. It’s my childhood dream,” he claimed.