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Sunday Dec 08 2019
Web Desk

Fawad Alam refuses to respond to Inzamam's renewed belittling of his ability

Web Desk

Fawad Alam on Sunday refused to respond to former chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq’s undermining of his ability, making it clear that he would not say anything against a person he considers his "legend".

Inzamam, under whose rein as the chief selector Fawad was frozen out of all Pakistan squads, is reported to have compared Fawad unfavourably to former English batsman Mark Ramprakash — who had 114 first-class centuries but did not have a similarly run-laden international career.

The latest comments come on the back of his 2018 remarks when he said he has “seen better players than Fawad Alam”.

Fawad, during a press conference in Karachi today, was reminded of Inzamam’s jibes repeatedly but he refused to take media personnel’s bait.

“I will take pride in the fact that I am being compared to Mark Ramprakash. He scored 100 centuries and for me to be compared to him, when I do not even have half the number of his tons he has, is an honour,” he said.

“He (Inzamam) is our legend. I am not anywhere close to him. I neither feel worthy enough to respond to his criticism nor have I been taught to respond in this way. I’ve been taught to respect my elders. He has his own nature, I mean his perspective. He is my legend and I refuse to respond in kind.

It is pertinent to note here that while Fawad and Ramprakash both had stellar domestic careers, the comparison fails at international level where Fawad averages 40-plus in Test and ODIs where the Englishman only managed a figure in mid-20s.

'My father told me never to lose heart'

Fawad made his Test debut in 2009 and played the last of his three Tests the same years as well. Since then he has amassed more than 12,000 runs in domestic circuit but was never picked for any Pakistan squad until Saturday when incumbent head coach Misbah-ul-Haq gave him a chance.

When asked how he managed to keep his concentration up during such a long time, Fawad said: “Of course, 10 years is an incredibly long period. It has many days and hours and minutes. It’s difficult to summarise the experience [in a single sitting].

“Such a period is indeed very difficult but when your family is with you and you keep the company of positive people, then the motivation remains. What helped was being in the company of those who did not tell me that ‘you are being wronged, etc’ like others.”

“My father in particular would always tell me that ‘do not lose heart’,” Fawad said with his voice cracking momentarily. “He keeps on telling me to fight. He has made a tremendous difference in my life.”

Second debut

Fawad, who admitted that the series against Sri Lanka “would feel like a second debut”, also acknowledged that there will be pressure on him to perform.

“Of course, there will be pressure on me to perform as I am back in the side after so long. But then there is always pressure on a player to perform, even in domestic circuit. I will try to overcome any pressure and give my 100 per cent,” he said.

Instead of eyeing a long run in the side, Fawad, now 34, said he would concentrate on the task in hand rather than thinking ahead.

“I think I should live in this moment and concentrate on the opportunity I have right now. Because if I start thinking ahead then my focus on this chance would be affected,” he said.