After watching his elder brother Kamran don the national colours and play in front of a packed home crowd at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Adnan Akmal imagined doing the same.
While part of his dream came true, after he made his international debut, Adnan – like several other youngsters – is yet to taste the pressure, or joy, of playing in front of a home crowd.
However, with the confirmation that Bangladesh will tour Pakistan, Adnan is aiming to make his home debut.
“I was over the moon when I heard about Bangladesh confirming the tour,” Adnan, who made his Test debut against South Arica in Dubai in 2010, told The Express Tribune.
“I regularly watched my brother performing and dreamt of playing for Pakistan on my home ground. Now I see a realistic chance for which I am thankful to the PCB chairman who made this happen with his efforts.
“I hope I get the opportunity of performing on my home ground in the upcoming series.”
Adnan has played 13 Tests, five One-Day Internationals and 19 Twenty20s but was replaced by Sarfraz Ahmed for the Asia Cup and it remains to be seen whether he is picked for the upcoming matches against Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, apart from Adnan, various other cricketers, who have made their mark at the international arena are yet to play in Pakistan — Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq and fast-bowlers Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz and Aizaz Cheema.
Home debut important: Cheema
The right-arm fast-bowler, while hailing the tour confirmation, termed it extremely important for players to make their debuts on home soil.
“I’m very excited at the return of international cricket,” said the 32-year old pacer, who made his Test debut in Zimbabwe.
“I hope matches take place regularly in our country as the PCB is making sincere efforts to resume international cricket. It’s very important for the game and its fans as well as young cricketers.
“Players who make their debut in their home country get the much-needed confidence as compared to the ones who their first match abroad.”
Junaid gets renewed zeal
Meanwhile, Junaid Khan, who is seeking a return to the playing-eleven after recovering from a knee injury, has doubled his efforts after the confirmation of the tour.
“I’ve increased my efforts to regain full rhythm,” said the 22-year old.
“I’m now training in full flow and drew a lot of motivation from the confirmation. It’s a dream for every cricketer to perform on HIS home ground.
“In the same way, I’m also looking forward to making my home debut and play on the grounds where I saw our legends in action.”
“I regularly watched my brother performing and dreamt of playing for Pakistan on my home ground. Now I see a realistic chance for which I am thankful to the PCB chairman.”
“I hope matches take place regularly in our country. Players who make their debut in their home country get much-needed confidence as compared to the ones who play their first match abroad.”
“It’s a dream for every cricketer to perform on his home grounds. In the same way, I’m also looking forward to making my home debut against Bangladesh and play on the grounds where I saw our legends in action.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.