Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq has opened up on the nepotism allegations and harsh trolling on social media that he is subjected to despite being one of the most consistent batsmen for Pakistan in ODIs.
Imam made his debut in 2017 and boasts of an astounding batting average of 53.84 in ODI cricket. But, he is still recognised as a nephew of Pakistan great Inzamam-ul-Haq and not for his batting exploits.
In a recent conversation with Deep Dasgupta on ESPNCricinfo, the southpaw revealed that he was very discouraged by such accusations and ate meals alone in his first tours.
“When all of this started happening, I would have my meals all alone. It was my first tour and you know how it can get on the first tour. And whenever I would open my phone, there were people tagging me on social media posts or sending me stuff. I was very disheartened and couldn’t understand anything,” said Imran.
The 24-years-old recalled how he used to cry in the shower for hours after facing relentless attack and disparaging comments from Pakistani fans.
“I remember crying in the shower for hours that I haven’t even played yet [he played the third ODI of the series in Abu Dhabi]. It’s very easy for young players to get surrounded by self-doubt. The only thing running constantly in my mind was that I haven’t even played [for the national team] yet, what if I play and don’t perform well?”
“Then my career will be over. I wouldn’t step a foot out of my room, fearing people might trouble me outside because there is a large Pakistan community in Dubai,” Imam added.
Imran had a fantastic start to his ODI career as he became the second-fastest batsman to reach the 1000-run mark. He registered four centuries in his first ten games itself. However, the allegations over nepotism still fail to elude the talisman.