Home Sports News Opener Imam sets sights on T20 World Cup

Opener Imam sets sights on T20 World Cup

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LAHORE-Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq has set sights on the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup, saying if given a chance, he will try to give consistent performances to help the side register crucial victories in the mega event.

In a virtual media interaction professionally organized by PCB media department here on Wednesday, 24-year-old Imam said: “I don’t have set targets in my mind, as they add extra pressure on the players. I also don’t like ifs and buts rather I prefer to enjoy each and every moment of my life as well as my cricketing career. As far as the events like World Cup are concerned, it’s a wish every player to represent his country in such mega events. I am also keen to not only represent my country in T20 World Cup but also eager to give out my best in that event.”

In the recent PSL 2020, Shan Masood though played some good innings with good strike rate as an opener and also played some captains innings. It has proved that T20 cricket is not only meant for slogging but you need a batsman, who may consolidate the top order. Imam has ability to fill that gap as he is a brave and consistent batsman, while Fakhar Zaman was not up to the mark while Sharjeel Khan’s fitness is doubtful. Imam said: “I believe in hard work and I am not only working hard on my fitness but also trying to improve my batting skills and techniques and eager to give consistent performances for my team. If given a chance, I am hopeful of doing well.”

When asked if he has to pick one format out three, which one he will prefer, he replied: “Off course, Test cricket. The interesting fact is that I was picked up in the national squad on the performances of four-day cricket. In the beginning, every player has to face some difficulties in settling down. When I discussed this with my colleague and best friend Babar Azam, he advised me not to worry about it as he too had to face so many problems in the beginning and then gradually, he brought consistency in his performances. Every player takes some time, and I also deserve one more chance after being dropped from Test team.”

The opening batsman said that he is not in favour of playing cricket behind closed doors as he believes the cricket activities, including the T20 World Cup, should be played in front of spectators. When sports activities resume, he will support the PCB stance. The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15 but the fate of the tournament remains uncertain with some suggesting it be conducted behind closed doors.

“If the T20 World Cup takes place after the Coronavirus Pandemic comes to an end, I feel it should be played in front of cricket fans as its charm is something else for players and everyone involved. But this will be decided by the ICC and we will respect that. Let’s hope for the best. We also need to ensure players and crowd safety,” he added.

To a query regarding PSL 2020, Imam said that the entire PSL 2020 was played with great enthusiasm and fervor and the great presence of fans added more colour in it. “We played two matches in the PSL without spectators and it was a strange feeling, so we will respect the PCB’s decision on it. But I personally feel that the PSL matches should also be played in front of crowd.”

About the two-day fitness tests, which concluded on Tuesday, the opening batsman said: “The tests proved to be fun for me as well as other players as we all were ready for the them. These tests are very essential for all the players as they must know about their fitness and they should always be responsible and fit for the upcoming tasks.”

Sharing about his training routine, he said he has not only gym equipment at home but also hired the services of a trainer. “My home gym has almost all the essential equipment, where I train daily to keep me fit. I have also hired a trainer, who trains and guides me through video calls. But it is true that the match fitness cannot be compared with anything else, so we need around 10 to 15 days after lockdown to get settle for any upcoming assignment.”

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