New Delhi: November 9, 2016 saw people all over the world glued towards the results of US Presidential elections but that wasn't the case with Ismail Hameed who along with all of his family members was sitting at the Rajkot stadium witnessing his son Haseeb Hameed make his England bow against India.
Speaking to TOI, Ismail said, "Well, like every parent, I too was a bit nervous when he walked out to bat. But, once he settled in, all of us enjoyed his knock."
Haseeb registered a 31-run knock against India on Day 1, facing 82 balls against a tricky Indian spin bowling attack. The 19-year-old debutant made his way into the England line-up after scoring 1,198 runs for Lancashire in 16 matches at an impressive average of 49.91 including two centuries.
Haseeb's father also recalled proud incident when he had taken his son at MIG Club Mumbai where both saw Sachin Tendulkar practicing in nets.
"Haseeb has shown tremendous determination ever since he began playing cricket. I remember, we were in Mumbai in 2004 and he went to the MIG Club where he watched Sachin Tendulkar bat in the nets. He was very excited and kept asking me about Sachin. I explained to him that he had seen the greatest batsman in the world, and then he said he wanted to become a batsman and play for England one day," revealed Ismail.
Having trained under renowned coach Vidya Paradkar in Mumbai in 2010, Haseeb also played friendly matches for Police Gymkhana.
Former joing cricket secretary of Police Gym and retired ACP Iqbal Shaikh also recalled Haseeb's innings 6 years back.
"Haseeb is very dedicated to the game. I remember, when he came here six years ago, he turned up for practice soon after he had landed. In fact, Haseeb wanted to play the Police Shield last year, but he could not as he is not registered with any club here," said Shaikh.
At 19 years and 297 days, Haseeb became the youngest opener to debut for England, and the fifth youngest overall in their long and illustrious Test cricketing history.
Ismail Hameed moved to Bolton, England about 30 years ago.