Zaman can lead Pakistan to World Cup glory: Imam

Left-handed opener became the first Pakistan batsman to score a double century in ODI cricket

Zaman can lead Pakistan to World Cup glory: Imam PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan opening batsman Imamul Haq believes that Fakhar Zaman — who became the first Pakistan batsman to score a double century in ODI cricket — can help Pakistan win the World Cup because of the amount of talent he possesses.  

Speaking in an interview after the conclusion of the fourth ODI against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, Imam said that he was pleased with the way Zaman performed and hoped that he would play more innings like this in the future as well.

“It's a big achievement. Pakistan will benefit a lot from him, he is such a talent that he can help Pakistan win the World Cup," Imam said.

He added: “It's early days in his career and it takes players years to achieve what he has done. I hope Allah helps him to play many long innings.”

Imam and Zaman’s 304-run stand broke the world record for the highest opening partnership in ODI cricket — but this was not something the duo were playing for, according to Imam.  

"We weren't thinking about any records, we were trying to play ball to ball and over to over. The management told us to make big hundreds if we got set,” he said.

I never thought this big: Zaman

Zaman — who made his ODI debut against South Africa at Birmingham in 2017 — was happy with how his career has progressed so far.

Sharing his thoughts after the match, Zaman said breaking Saeed Anwar’s record was never on his mind although Head Coach Mickey Arthur was eager to see him to score a double-century.

“Yes I knew about Saeed Anwar's score. Mickey Arthur wanted me to score a double-century if we won the toss and batted first,” said Zaman. "I had never even thought about breaking Saeed Anwar's record. I just wanted to play one First-Class match. Then after I played that, my next target was to become an international player, but I never thought this big."

Speaking about brilliant innings, Zaman said that his primary target after getting to a century was to score quick runs for the side and not think too much about scoring a double-ton.

“I had only planned about getting to a hundred,” he said. “After getting to that mark, I only kept on going with the intent of scoring quick runs and the double century was not something I was thinking about.”