Ikram Ali breaks Sachin’s rare World Cup record
Afghanistan might have ended their World Cup 2019 campaign without a win but their wicketkeeper-batsman Ikram Ali Khil on Thursday gave their fans something to smile and forget the pain.
Ikram Ali in team’s final fixture achieved a rare record as he broke legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record of the highest score by a teenager in the World Cup. The 18-year-old cricketer was instrumental against West Indies in the final league fixture as he scored 86 off 92 balls in Leeds.
The 86-run knock saw him outsmart Tendulkar’s record, who essayed 84 runs as an 18-year-old teenager against New Zealand in the 1992 World Cup.
Proud to have broken Sachin’s record: Ikram Ali
Speaking on his record-breaking recital, Ikram was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, “I’m very proud to have broken the record of a legend like Tendulkar. It makes me very happy.”
He made it pretty clear that it is former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara whom he idolises very much and not Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.
“Kumar Sangakkara is always in mind and my thoughts when I am batting out there,” said Ikram. “His (Sangakkara) ability to rotate the strike and find a boundary when needed, that is what made him a world class batsman. That is what I try to copy as much as I can,” said the Afghan cricketer who was part of the team that made it to the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup last year.
The young wicketkeeper was rather unlucky as his record-breaking knock ended up in a losing cause as Afghanistan surrendered to West Indies by 23 runs. Chasing 312, Afghanistan could muster 288. Nonetheless, Ikram Ali’s 86-run knock turned out to be the top score by an Afghan batsman in this tournament.
“I’m very happy that I scored 86 runs which was the top score for Afghanistan,” said elated Ikram.
“No one had crossed that mark in nine games but I’m disappointed at the same time because I thought I could score a hundred. Hopefully, in the games ahead, I will score a hundred for Afghanistan,” he said.
Well, the young wicket-keeper batsman, Ikram initially was not part of the team’s 15-member squad for the World Cup 2019. He was called in as a replacement for Mohammad Shahzad after he was ruled out of the marquee event with a knee injury.