Pakistan cricket chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq applauded Pakistan opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq, saying that Imam, who also happens to be his nephew, has ‘performed exceptionally' for the country.

“I want to make the people realize that Imam got selected for Pakistan Under-19 in 2012 and during that time I was not part of Pakistan cricket. He then rose to the rank of vice captaincy in 2014 Under-19 World Cup, which in our cricket is the pathway to enter into international cricket," said Inzamam when questioned about Imam's future after his departure as Pakistan cricket chief selector, during a presser at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on Wednesday.

“He is the first opening batsman who has played some 30, 40 matches and is averaging over 50, so as per my take talking about Imam's future is not appropriate. Imam is as much a Pakistani player like anyone else in the team and he has performed exceptionally," said Inzamam.

Imam may not have enjoyed the best of World Cups, but managed to hit a century against Bangladesh, in what would have been Pakistan's last appearance at the tournament. However, he had an exceptional run at One Day International (ODI) so far, hitting 1,692 runs in 36 games at an average of well over 50, including seven centuries.

The departing chief selector further informed that he was not involved in Imam's selection. “I would request everyone to see one's performance and not get personal," he added.

Inzamam has announced that he would step down from his post as Pakistan cricket chief selector and would not seek a contract renewal.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019