Our guest today is Imad Wasim. He is a cricketer, a batsman and a bowler. But he is a spinner. You all know him. But amazingly I have stopped watching cricket. That’s why I don’t know many things about current players. But from today, I will try to, as I will start to know and understand Imad, I hope I will come back to cricket’s world. So let’s meet Imad Wasim. Thank you Imad for your time I came to know that you had a knee injury. And you went for theory or training training, Rehab training. Why do you call it training? Because you need strength of different parts So it is like a training. How did you get injure? I was playing a series against Sri Lanka I got injured badly After taking rest, I went to play T-20 and again got injured. With these injuries, how do you manage to spin a ball? Your fingers were injured and you are left handed. It’s just that we’re used to it. Do you enjoy being injured? I feel pain but we are used to it we can’t say, it’s a part of our life. Let’s rewind back to childhood. How many siblings do you have? We are three. Elder brother, me and my younger sister. You have a younger sister and you are the middle one. Yes. It means you have neither responsibility nor are spoiled? I have no responsibility but am spoiled. You are spoiled. Really Where were you born? In Wales.
How do you born in Wales when you and your family lives in Islamabad. My father, he was in Saudia then he went to England. He lived there for two or three years Then I was born there. Then we came back to Pakistan. How old were you when you moved to Pakistan? I was 2 at that time. Do you have any memory or not? Not at all What is the earliest memory? I used to sleep with my bat. That’s the earliest memory I know. I was little, I used to sleep with my bat and ball. That’s it. Really. How old were you when you received first gift and what was the gift? A bat. A bat. Yes I remembered. How did get inspire? Had you seen someone playing? I used to watch. Brother Waseem We had won world cup. I was four or five years old. We won world cup and I watched brother Wasim and brother Imran. I watched few of their matches. I wanted to play cricket. It’s not in my genes or blood but it was inside me from the day I was born I think. Really. Do your father play? He doesn’t play but he watched With whole family. What about elder brother? Brother used to play and then I wanted to play professionally. That’s it.
That’s it. As a professional cricketer. And what about your sister, what does she likes? She used to play with me. Really. Yeah. Did she play or do commentary or wicket keeping? She used to play. Regular, proper. And my brother used to play. So I was the crazy one. You have a home team. Yes, it was home team, cousins too played. But I was the crazy one. I used to play outside. My mother used to see if you do your homework and other works than you can go outside.I used to study and then I got permission. How were you as a student? I was a good student I wanted to do medical but I chose cricket. Was that you who wanted to do medical or your father? No. I wanted to do it because I was inspired from one of my uncle, my mom’s cousin. I wanted to do medical but I chose cricket. which I think was the best decision I take. Really Who used to do be mischievous elder brother, you or sister? Elder brother. And who got caught? Elder brother. He was very much naughty. Did you get beaten? No, never. you never do a mischievous thing No it was related to cricket. Naughty things related to cricket. Did you ever lie? Yes What type of lie did you say? Mostly cricket related? Like, I am going this place but went to the other place for playing cricket. How many hours did you play in a day? It was a time from Asr to Magrib Before Magrib’s Azan, I had to be at home. And after Asr’s Azan, I went to play. That time period was actually for doing homework. School’s homework. Yeah But I used to do before or after that time. Even if I had a paper that time was for playing cricket. Sometimes on Sunday, at the time we had no mobile, kids rang the bell of my house, Aunty send him for playing I was a good player so they always wanted me. Send him. Do you still have childhood friends? Yes.With the ones you had played cricket are still your friends. yes we are the same. Neither any friends have changed nor I have made more friends. We are same. How were the teachers, do you remember? I remember teachers. They were strict. How much a teacher is important in a student’s life? Very much. Teacher’s influences a lot because you spent more time in school than home. From the environment of school you learnt a lot I studied in a model college It is a good model college But it was very strict That taught me toughness and roughness. To be with boys how to perform good than others and how to achieve I was the sportsman of the year for two three years in my college. After that and before that Competition between boys is healthy That toughness roughness I learnt from there How was the environment of the house? Was your father strict? No. With me, never. Are you friends? With me, both parents are friendly. With whom you share a close relationship? with brother or sister? Actually it’s very complicated. We all are like a gang We can’t live without each other. So with all it’s the same. Equal Do any of you is mother or father’s favourite? It seems like brother is mom’s favourite but I am the spoiled one so I am not in the favour to speak about anyone There are some children who gets love from others. Some children are like that Some children have to ask for love and some children get love on their own. Which one is you? I was obedient I used to disturb my parents for Cricket only. Sometimes families don’t allow you to play I was fifteen and a half when I chose Cricket I was very young Parents have a great influence on children’s decisions. My dad said, do whatever you want to do it’s your life Family, which I am from is very educated. It was tough. I think to study medicine is tough But it has a sure future We all know, a Doctor is eventually well placed and well respected. But cricket, maybe today you’re a cricketer but tomorrow you’re not. And the day after tomorrow, you are again a cricketer. And you got injured. I feel strange when I was talking to you earlier That where you were going to heal people now you went away to heal yourself. Do you feel strange when a doctor is examining you that maybe I would have been a doctor, if I was not a cricketer? I would have become crazy if I had become a doctor. Why? Because it’s not in my nature to sit and do things. Cricket is different Any sport is different but Cricket is tough The pressure of game I think at the age of 35 or 40 if I would be alive I don’t want to regret that why I didn’t take that decision. I was always an ambitious one It is what it is. If I achieve it, if I am thinking I can achieve it I will achieve it and if I don’t then at 40 I don’t want to say that I could have done it. I always wanted to become a Cricketer first and then anything else. This is the best thing that has happened. How did it come in your mind that I will spin a ball? O yeah. It’s a funny story.
Samina: I want to know the story
I was a fast bowler and a batsman. I went to a club but I didn’t get permission to get to it as it was far away from home. I was young when a man from the club came to my dad and said that I played well and they wanted to take me into the club. Dad said, no. I got angry at his refusal. I was around 11 or 12 When I was fifteen, one of my street fellow He used to go to club and his father was in police. He saw my game and asked me to go to club and register myself there. I said fair enough then I spoke to dad I told him about them he gave me permission At first in club, the tennis ball was very light so you can spin it quickly but hard ball is tough I was fifteen, I had no muscles I went to bowl and said what is it? Somebody came to me and said try to bowl spin I said ok I tried to spin the bowl I did it for three days Next day there was a trial, regional trials under 16 It was big For people who were playing cricket. You know, here people show their age less than actual. I never did because I have birth certificate of England I can’t change it. so fair enough. I was young others were older than me. I gave trial and after two days Amir Sohail was taking the trial. I saw him for the first time I used to watch Cricket like every single day and watch every one. For me every cricketer was a hero. No more and no less. All are hero for me. I met Azhar Mehmood for the first time He was in our street He came to meet someone From whom did you take first autograph? It was from Amir Sohail. Do you know. I have never taken any autograph after that Now you give autographs.
No I was really inspired by him I took it. I thought to become someone, people will take autograph from. My thinking was different when I was young I met Azhar bhai for the first time when I was young. I used to recall him later, remember I met you in a shop. Now, today he is my bowling couch, my elder brother I gave trial.
Samina: And Amir Sohail was in front of you? Yes. He called me over. I was scared and thought what will he say? He said, You played very well. You need help, you are very young. I didn’t know the selection part. I said ok. When I went back I played cricket Practice matches, club matches By playing eventually I learnt I was giving trial under 19 and I was fifteen from Islamabad I gave trial, played practice matches they said you are very young I was like, let it go I had exams too. I focused on exams Due to exams, I didn’t play for five to six months I haven’t decided at that time. I was studying. When I played for Islamabad under 19 I got selected for Pakistan under 19 In three months, I was fifteen and a half, I got selected At that time there was no mobiles There ran a slide on television Only names that I wasn’t expecting I was in Lahore I was playing regional matches I was really happy to see my name. I went to India for the first time. After that, we played world cup 2006 and we had won it. Sarfraz was the Captain Then I became Captain of under 19 For two years I played. After that I said, I can’t study anymore. That’s it. How much have you studied? I did F.Sc. But couldn’t go to University. Do you feel remorse? No. No regrets. No. I am very happy. Education for me is like travelling, to see different … Have you seen other countries? A lot of places but not the whole world. Wherever you go to play matches There are also many fans but What would you pick? Books or music? No, i am not a reader Reading is not for me. What to you do there? With friends we go out and roams around the city Do you cook? Yes, I do. I lived in England for six years on and off. Six months in England and six months in Pakistan The period from under 19 to the starting of Pakistan team was the toughest period of my life. It taught me how to be a good person. When you have nothing. What is a good person? A good person who thanks Allah for everything. Either you have that thing or not. And stay humble because everyone is equal. God has created every body equal. Rich poor everyone is equal For me mercy and respecting other people It is massive. And are men and women equal?
In your eyes?
Obviously, like, in certain cases, they’re equal. Like, if I can do a job, why not a girl?!
Yeah, you know, in certain cases. Yeah and But God has not like created men and women equally. Like in power. Really?
Yeah, you know, like they can’t fight each other. A girl cannot fight a guy, so they are a little bit superior but not in worldly sense that you can’t work a job and stuff. But if a woman trains herself then she can fight too. Yeah but if the guy does the same amount of training, he can still fight more. Power, it’s different but God Himself has not made any one being superior over the other. You mean that men and women are physically different?
Imad: Physically, they are not equal but mentally, I think, this is what I think I maybe wrong but what I’ve learnt from this world is from what I’ve seen, it is that all are equal. Rights should be equal too. True. And salaries should also be equal.
Imad: Yeah. Equal pay, equal right?
Imad: Yeah And if a woman trains herself and becomes strong and powerful then she’s an equal?
Imad: So what difference will it make? Doesn’t…it’s the way you think. I think very differently. I…I respect women because they’re more nicer than men. They’re more honest than men. You know, because it’s in their nature. They are superior to men in that way.So I think I respect women a lot. Has it ever happened at home, this fight between left and right hand? Was there ever any fight? Like for example, that you might Lets just say that we try to tell kids Parents want to guide their children. So if there’a left handed child, then all efforts are put into turning that child into right handed. Has it ever happened to you? An incident like that?
Imad: No, no such thing except for eating. Food was always to be taken with right hand. And I remember, I used to play Cricket out in the street. I played with a little older kids, Always with them. They were mostly unable to get me out. So my dad was once watching from the room. I decided that I should play right handedly. And when I played right I was out. Then my dad told me to never do it again. Fair enough. He never wanted me to change anything for anyone. So he always wanted me to be whatever I was. Has there been an argument, ever, at home? On anything? Because of me?
Samina: Yes, yes.
Imad: No. That this should not have happened? Or why did it happen?
Imad: Somewhere along the way, during that period of 5 to 6 years, there’s a big difference between domestic and International domestic. There’s a massive difference. Financially and Cricket wise both. That’s why we go to England and play Cricket so we can end up with a big amount of money so that the next 6 months would be secured. So yeah sometimes Mom and the rest say that you should have studied. You should start it again. So I am like, yeah, fair enough but I always… Don’t you feel like going back? To the University? You could maybe study privately?
Imad: I tried Samina: Then?
Imad: I went in, I sat there and I was like, Nah.
Imad: Nah. Ok, so there’s a lot of pressure, Cricket is like showbiz You come into limelight because of this. If you play well, you get a lot of fans. How do you handle that? This pressure which keeps building on? Its… its a great question and its tough to describe any normal person. You know how it’s like! You can’t live your personal life in Pakistan. Ah, outside Pakistan it’s fine. But, yeah it’s tough. It’s really really tough. You, can’t just go anywhere like that. I like to watch movies and stuff. I can’t go into the cinemas straightaway like through a mall. You know. and even if I do, the movie gets late. People stop me. I think it’s an honour for me that they do. I always wanted this life but at the same time it does interfere with my personal life.
Samina: This is the price of it all.
Imad: Exactly but If God will give me another chance, I will become Imad again.
Imad: Yeah. And what are these other things involved I mean, according to me I think that apart from being a Cricketer, there are a lot of other things involved I think, you must have seen that over a period of time, a lot of scandals show up a lot of pressure comes on a player and he knows that when he goes onto the field, a lot of other things go with him like there’s match fixing, there’re scandals, like there is a whole world with him, his talks, how do you swim through it all? I think the number 1 priority is to play for your country and perform well. That’s it. That’s the priority. If you perform well every other thing will just come and go. But if you don’t perform well and people start criticising you… That’s the thing, we don’t watch I, specially don’t watch these shows and stuff related to Cricket. I used to watch when I was like 23 – 24 but I quit. So I never watched it. I never watch any show or any analysis. I know who is criticising but I always take criticism in a positive way. But I cant go on by walking n other people’s footsteps. Because I do what I think. You know, I am a very different person. Most people would probably do so after seeing others and would think about it that they should follow in but I can never do that. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I go like, next time I’ll do it like this. I made a mistake, Next time I won’t. So I am very different. I don’t watch TV. I don’t watch these things. I am pretty different that way. I don’t even care about such things. They’ll just come and go. These things are part of life. So, it’s just… When do you feel the most happy? When Pakistan wins. And that means that each player, all of them are performing well in their capacities. Exactly, but sometimes you don’t perform which is, the most tough time in your life, in your career. Basically when you don’t perform and
your spot is in danger, that’s the toughest time when you think that oh If you get dropped you’ll go back to domestic Cricket. Samina: So that is the most sad moment? When you are sitting out a match? At that time, Since this hasn’t happened with me yet, but For example, when you get injured.
Imad: yeah, yeah. It is disappointing. Have you ever felt hurt to the extreme? I have been into many injuries so it is Allah’s will. It happened because He willed it. Maybe it was better for me. But then you watch TV and you’re like if I had been there, I maybe would have done it better. You know I may or may not have which is a different thing but that passion never ends. Especially for Pakistan but for the rest the leagues i.e. I am like OK, next time. Have you ever felt that maybe if you had an eraser, you’d have erased something. Is there any regret of such kind?
Imad: No Samina: No regrets at all?
Imad: Nothing. I am really happy with whatever I have achieved and whatever I will achieve inshaAllah. I am really happy with what I am. I am proud of myself in a good way. Not proud, proud. Because it was my decision to become a Cricketer. I have my aims and goals. I am following them. They say if you have a dream, then follow that dream.
I am following that dream.
Samina: Any advice of your parents that you’re taking forward that helps you in the most difficult circumstances? What is that advice?
Imad: Nothing as such. Samina: Trust?
Imad: If I don’t perform well, I get scolded. Samina: Yes.
Imad: So I think They support me a lot, till today. I don’t know but God has gifted me a wonderful life. I don’t know whether I deserve it or not but they always supported me. They always do that. My family, my friends and all my loved ones, they all love me. I don’t know if I deserve that much. I can only thank God. When did you first fall in love? There’s only one love and that is Cricket. Samina: You have never like a girl?
Imad: Oh, there were a lot of girls. A lot but Cricket, my number 1 priority is Cricket. I think … the distractions which occur due to Cricket I don’t believe in that.
Samina: So what is love then? Love is Cricket. I don’t know what it is but it’s Cricket for me. Live for Cricket.
Imad: Yeah. I am that way. But then you grow up too. And then you need a companion too. And then you’ll make a home too. Imad: That’s another thing.
Samina: Yes, dream about that too. Yes, that’s another thing in your life. As I said I have my goals and achievements set. That you can’t do alone, you do need a partner as well so, eventually yes. At the moment whole Pakistan is asking about this same question. Samina: Indeed.
Imad: But I think that I am focusing on my career right now. When the right person comes , I will.
Samina: What is the right person? What kind of a girl do you like? The person who understands me cuz our Cricket or let’s suppose my Cricket revolves around that kit bag. You know mental pressure or physical pressure it’s just … it’s just that Cricket…
Samina: And there’s no other refuge? Imad: Yeah
Samina: Constant travel?
Imad: Yes Obviously there will be a girl who understands that. And then yeah, then I am gonna think about it. So will you marry for love or with your parents’ choice? It doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t.
Samina: Ok Samina: Whichever comes first!
Imad: Yeah. If my mom and dad Imad: say I will.
Samina: Ok, and when will this happen? What age factor falls in that goal? I have no idea yet. This is
Samina: You don’t know! a very difficult question. Samina: Do you believe that couples are made in heaven?
Imad: I don’t know if that’s true. But this is a difficult question. Samina: So no one has ever come into your life that shook your world.
Imad: No, no one’s done that. Samina: Except for Cricket?
Imad: See, actually You can’t give time to such things. To anyone and obviously you can’t travel together always. You know we are Muslims. We can’t travel with our girlfriends or even our friends. You can’t give time to even know that other person. You know, so … some day you’ve played a match and you lose the match lets suppose so you are disappointed with yourself, your coach is disappointed, your captain and your fans and then on top of it you can’t pick your phone up. Sometimes I throw my phone away for 2-3 days. We just throw our phones off. We don’t want to even use them. So we are like that.
Samina: So what do you do then? Do you cry in moments like these? Samina: When the pressure is too much and so is the disappointment. Samina: DO you listen to music?
Imad: Usually I go out. Yeah Samina: And walk?
Yeah I just go out. Eat or whatever and have fun. Come back and then What kind of food do you like?
Imad: Everything. I eat everything. Samina: Ok
Imad: There’s no food that I don’t like. Everything. Almost everything. Samina: And what is it that you like to cook yourself? I can cook all Pakistani foods.
Samina: Koftas as well?
Imad: Yes, easy. Samina: Can you make Biryani?
Imad: That’s easy. Samina: Nooo
Imad: Talk to me about some lasagne and stuff, biryani is easy. So are koftas.
Samina: wow, wow. Imad: I used to because Imad: I lived in England and there
Samina: Simple food is cooked there. Samina: The boys especially. This Biryani and koftay? Imad: I am a food lover.
Samina: Ok Samina: Can you cook Haleem too? I have never made haleem but I know how to make it. Never exactly made it. Samina: SO nothing to worry about. See if you retire, you can become a chef. Imad: I don’t cook that well. But I used to Skype with my mom Samina: SO you are your mum’s student?
Imad: Yes. I would Skype and ask how and what to do next, so it kept on repeating
Samina: Ok. itself and after doing it again and again. Samina: Can you sew a button onto your shirt?
Imad: Of course, I mean they are all easy tasks.
Samina: Can you iron clothes as well? Imad: These are easy things.
Samina: Do you keep your room clean? Imad: Nah, can’t do that. Samina: So the shopping that you do, lots of shopping that you must do when you travel, you told me you travel a lot.
Imad: It’s the only thing I can’t do. Samina: So you have piles and piles of stuff in your room? Oh, that’s the only thing I can’t do… I am, I am, very bad at it.
Samian: So how do you sleep? Samina: By creating a small niche somewhere?
Imad: They are not on my bed. Samina: So they are not on your bed?
Imad: Nothing’s on my bed but well everywhere else. Imad: Things are everywhere. And if someone cleans it up, I am like Where are my things? Where are they? I am like, who should I ask now about where my things are? You know And then I mess up things looking again. I am like that. Imad: That’s the only bad thing I can tell about myself. Number 1 thing. I am like that put it here and here and there. Yeah
Samina: Ok, So when you get out of your home, do you know where your things are? Samina: Like your wallet? And watch. Imad: Yeah both these things.
Samina: Or you can’t find these things? Passport, wallet and these things I know where they are.
Samina: Ok. Clothes and shoes I know nothing about.
Samina: No idea?
Imad: No. Never. Samina: So do you plan about what you will wear today or whatever? Imad: No, I have no idea about such things.
Samina: So whatever you buy, you have no idea about where it is? Imad: There are certain things which I have no idea about where they are. And I don’t even remember them.
Samina: And they might turn up 5 years later? Honestly, honestly. I was a little You could call it chubby. So I have a lot of things that I have no idea about where they went. So then I started buying medium/slim fit. I have no idea where they are now. So it’s just I don’t know, it’s just very tough.
Samina: Is anyone allowed to go into your room? Everyone. Samina: Ok, ok. There are some guys who say my chaos should not be stepped into. Imad: No, no, no. I feel proud. Yeah, I feel proud.
Samina: What is the most precious prize of your life? What is that most prized thing? What is it? One that you have kept with care till now. Any conversation or a thing?
Imad: A thing? There are a lot of things. I can’t say that there is just one thing. And most of those things are related to Cricket. That first bat and that first ball from which I took 5 wickets and all those medals. I think what better things can you get apart from this. That you are playing for your country.
Samina: So where are these things kept? Are they on a wall?
Imad: Yeah, yeah. Samina: Do you look at them?
Imad: Yeah. Samina: And they remind you that you have to move forward yet.
Imad: Yeah I remember. Even the day too when I first got each of these prizes. So where do you want to go now? After the place you’ve reached? What are you seeing in the future? Where are you trying to go now? It’s very early to say but I want to become a player, who’ll leave a legacy behind. When I retire or when I achieve my goal, I’ll leave a legacy behind like Imran Khan left one behind him for captaincy and for leadership. So I want to leave something, even if not a leader then something of a legacy like NewZealand’s Brandon McCullum. He changed the Cricket for NewZealand, and left his legacy behind. So, that’s my main goal that when one retires, you leave a legacy behind, for others to follow. So people start following you, for a certain amount of time and then there will be another guy who’ll leave his legacy behind With your fame and name what do you want to achieve? I have things in mind and I can’t disclose it yet. I have things in mind.
Samina: Ok And it will be a very good thing for Pakistan. And obviously I have to give something back to my country which has given me so much. I have to give something back. What would you like to change about Pakistan? A lot of things.
A lot of things. I think … We are usually as a nation we are the most intelligent people in the world. And we can we can do whatever we want to but there are some things that like culture and education that won’t let you do stuff. Or they don’t let you decide between the right and wrong. I think that is the first thing you should change. What is right is right and wrong is wrong. And then you follow that and you’ll see that afterwards, a lot of things will start to change. So education is a main thing in every aspect of life. Because you need to know the difference between right and wrong. Samina: Do you want that every single child in Pakistan goes to school?
Imad: Yes I want to because Education teaches you a lot of things. What is life? It’s a test. It’s a test of a creator Of yourself and the Creator who created you. And you should thank your Creator. That’s a test. I feel it’s as they say “All is illusion” So life is like that So it’s a test for us. Whoever is granted by Allah with respect, fame and wealth will be tested more. Whoever is granted less, will be tested less as well. I pray this from Allah always that grant me that fame, wealth and respect which I can handle. Don’t give me more than that. Obviously as we have to go through the test for sure. So I think that’s life. It’s a test of us, our nerves and of because we have been given a free will so you can do whatever you want to so it’s a test for us, not to do bad things. That’s life for me.
Samina: And success? Hard work and whatever you think you can become but in order to do that you have to be very strong. And if you want to be successful, just work hard. Eventually, it will pay off. It might take time, you’ll fail. But you know, success is like a stair. You need to go step by step to get to success. You can’t get it over night. You keep on doing things repeatedly. And eventually it will pay off. Maybe what you’re trying to do not in that, but somewhere else. And failure? I don’t believe in failure. Failure’s like … Failure’s for people who who think that who can’t think basically because failure for me is nothing. And you do fail because either you learn from it or you try to go after that thing again and work harder to get to it. So failure in my book, there’s no such word. Because you’ll fail a lot if you’re trying to be successful. So I think if someone says they’ve failed, I think it’s wrong. You just work hard and pass it. And what is death? Death? For every soul to taste. So that is death. Does it scare you? Have you ever been scared of it?
Imad: Yeah. You feel afraid.
Imad: Yes, yes.
Samina: But do you understand it? Understand it in which sense? Have you ever thought about what death actually is? Have you ever given it a thought people say it a lot that Ahsan said a very interesting thing that when you are in your mother’s belly you know nothing of the world That what will happen next. This is also that same moment about which you know nothing. So do you ever think about what it actually is? Do you understand it?
Imad: I do understand it. I do know what death is. And it’s a painful thing but if you do good deeds then it’s not that painful. That’s what I think. I wish you all the best, Imad. Thank you. I wish you the stars and the moon.
Imad: Thank you. So kind of you. Yes. Travel a lot. Make us proud.
Imad: Thank you. We are very proud of you. Thank you!