Maintaining the highest ever batting average of 56.51 in Pakistan domestic history, an average of 41.68 in Test career, being one of the fittest cricketers in the country is simply not good enough for central contract. Tariq Alam, the father of Fawad Alam and a former first class cricketer, is unable to understand the reason behind his son’s rejection. “He deserves a central contract, getting a place in playing XI is another thing, but there is no reason why he should not get a central contract,” said Tariq Alam. “If Fawad is not selected with the kind of record he has, then God knows what selectors want from a player.”
The senior Alam played professional cricket for around two-decades, but never got to don the Green colour. He came close to getting selected for the national team, yet he was too far as he failed to perform in the side matches against Australia and West Indies. Despite of such disappointments, his eyes lit up when he came to know that his son wants to follow his footprints, he threw all the support behind him. Though, his mother opposed the idea of bringing Fawad n sports in such an early age, but Tariq backed him. He used to take him academy directly from school so that his wife could not object it. “I told him, if you want to play cricket then play it with all your heart soul,” he told.
The 61-year old used to think why he could not make into the national team. But, after Fawad made his debut, he had no regrets over his past. In fact he is delighted that his son has become his identity “When my son made his Test debut, I realized that God had other plans for me. Test cricket was written in my destiny in form of my son, when he plays in the ground, I feel like I am wearing that Star on my chest,” said the proud father.
Fawad Alam’s career has been full of bumps, he gets disheartened and has thought of quitting cricket on multiple occasions. But it is his father who keeps him going, he taught his son that getting in the team and being dropped is a part of cricketer’s life, so just keep working hard and stay positive about the result. Having said that, Tariq also gets shattered sometimes when his son gets ignored for some mysterious reasons. “He is my son, moreover, he is a performer, so he deserves to be in the team,” he told. “Obviously, it is heart-wrenching for me when he is not selected, I cannot explain my pain in words,” he added.
The left-handed middle-order batsman was part of Pakistan’s Test team prior to the historic England tour in 2016. He was termed as the fittest player along with Shan Masood in the boot camp at the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul. Selectors and the PCB boss emphasized that fitness will be a key aspect while selecting the team for the big tour. However, all these statements proved to be hollow when the most consistent performer of domestic cricket and the fittest player was snubbed out of the team for no reason. Pakistan went to England and returned as the top ranked Test side.
Tariq wants to see his son make the country proud. He wants his son to be in the team, for which he humbly requested the national selection committee of Pakistan and also the chairman PCB Shaharyar Khan to keep Fawad under their radar. “I request the selection committee and chairman PCB to consider this boy (Fawad Alam) for selection, he has served this country and ignoring him like that will destroy his confidence. He has performed throughout his career, he will not disappoint you this time as well.” He believes that Fawad can be a suitable performance for one of the retired duo of Misbah Ul Haq and Younis Khan as he has been an experienced campaigner and has the ability to perform at least in the long form of the game. “There were Younis Khan and Misbah Ul Haq in the middle order for Pakistan, now there is a huge vacuum there after their retirement,” he said. “Although, he has only played three Tests, but he maintains an average of 41.66, if he gets the due support, he can surely be a suitable replacement for them.”
Fawad Alam belongs to a cricketing family, his uncle, Waheed Mirza is a well-known name Pakistan cricket, his father in law Mansoor Akhter has played for the national team and his cousin Usman Afzal who lives in England has played Test cricket for England. Tariq will be happy if his family’s third generation also gets into cricket even after all the setbacks they have seen. “Cricket is in our blood, we will not stop our next generation from playing cricket,” he said with a smile.
The 31-year old batsman has a reputation of being a simple and down to earth individual. Tariq Alam feels lucky to be blessed with such an obedient son. “I am blessed to have a son like Fawad, he is always concerned about his parents, he is too respectful,” he stated. “I pray that every parents of this world get blessed with a son like him.”
Tariq Alam, who spent his whole life playing cricket, advises youngsters that if they want to pursue their career in cricket then stay dedicated to it. “Take cricket as serious as your education, work hard, there are no shortcuts for success. Utilize your time, put in all your effort, do not have a casual attitude towards the game,” he shared.