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Sunday Nov 22 2020
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Throwback picture: When Imran Khan selected singer Salman Ahmad for Bangladesh series 1985

A picture of the Pakistan cricket team players from 1985. Imran Khan, Saleem Malik, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Salman Ahmad, Wasim Akram and others can be seen in the photo. Photo: Salman Ahmad Twitter

Not many may know this, but singer Salman Ahmad was once selected by then-Pakistan cricket team captain Imran Khan to be part of an unofficial cricket team that included Wasim Akram, Saleem Malik, Rameez Raja and Zakir Khan. 

Taking to Twitter, Salman Ahmad shared a group photo of the team members before they departed for Bangladesh in 1985. Imran Khan, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Saleem Malik, Wasim Akram, Salman Ahmad and others can be seen in the photo. 

"Addicted to Cricket ever since I was a boy playing in the streets of Lahore . grew up ⁦watching @ImranKhanPTI .IK selected me 4 Flag of Pakistan first tour to Flag of Bangladesh ⁦amazing memories #zakirKhan @iramizraja @wasimakramlive & co," tweeted the singer. 

Read more: Singer Salman Ahmad found his true calling in Bangladesh

Decades ago, Salman Ahmed had impressed the future prime minister when he played a friendly match against Imran Khan at the Lahore Gymkhana. He scored a very decent 60-odd runs against the formidable attack of one of the best bowlers of all time, of which Imran was a part of. 

"That day told me that cricket and I were seriously made for each other. Imran only cemented that feeling when the next week, he came up to me during practice and said he was impressed by my courage and defensive skills," Salman had spoken about the incident in an interview with Geo. 

To his surprise, Imran Khan told Salman that he was picking him to go to Bangladesh with an unofficial Pakistan cricket team that included Wasim Akram, Saleem Malik, Rameez Raja and Zakir Khan.

"It was a formidable bunch. These were some of the players who would help Pakistan win its first World Cup title under Imran’s leadership in 1992. As we boarded a PIA flight from Karachi to Dhaka, I embraced what I thought was my destiny in the sporting life," he had added. 

However, Salman drifted away from cricket and his passion for music took him to new heights of fame with the Junoon band.