Imran Nazir October 14, 2012

'My brother was my idol'

Interview by Jack Wilson
He had mastered street cricket by the time he was ten, but if he needed reassurance about his game, Imran Nazir turned to his sibling

First cricketing idol
You look up to many players as a youngster, and when I was growing up, a lot of Pakistani players were doing great things in the game. But my idol was always my elder brother Mushtaq. He guided me through the hard times and was always the one I looked up to. He had such a big impact on my development as a young player and would always tell me and reassure me that I had what was needed to play international cricket. He used to say, "Imran, you have the talent to get to the top," and I needed to hear that.

First cricket match I played in
All the kids in Pakistan used to play street cricket - it was a phenomenon while I grew up. The others used to be amazed at what I could do. When I played my first proper match, at ten, I had already hit a lot of balls and was confident that I could go in to bat and express myself.

First overseas experience
I was 17 when I came over to play in the Bradford Cricket League in England. I played for a team called Great Horton, and the chance to play in new conditions helped me massively. The pitches took some getting used to, as all I'd known was Pakistani pitches.

My first Test cap
I still have it and I take great care of it. I worked very hard to get it and I will never forget the moment it was handed to me. I was 18 at the time. I remember going out on to the field, and Wasim Akram was the man who presented it to me. It was a childhood dream come true.

First game in front of the television cameras
It was for Pakistan, and at first I was wary of them. I was nervous before I went out to bat and I had a few butterflies in my stomach. As soon as I faced one ball, all that nervous energy left me and it was just like any other game. I soon forgot they were there.

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