I never like people mentioning me as Shakib Al Hasan of Zimbabwe: Sikandar Raza
The Zimbabwe all-rounder reckons that he has a lot to learn from the Bangladesh star.
Published - Jan 22, 2018 4:57 pm | Updated - Jan 22, 2018 10:16 pm
Zimbabwean Cricket has been slowly rising from its own ashes like a phoenix after the horrendous crisis suffered by them from 2003 to 2011 on the backdrop of an anti-white revolution which put their cricket in shambles. With a series win against sixth-ranked Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka last year, Zimbabwe stunned the cricketing fraternity and provided the hope that their long-lost heydays could return.
Though completely battered, owing to the exodus of several (white) players in the likes of the famous Flower brothers, Craig Wishart, Alastair Campbell to greener pastures, Zimbabwean Cricket is taking it own time to resurrect themselves. Among the survivors of the anti-white era and who have been making waves of late in Zimbabwean Cricket is Pakistan born Sikandar Raza.
About Sikandar Raza
The Sialkot-born lad who immigrated to Zimbabwe in 2001 along with his parents has had a lackluster career till now. An all-rounder, Sikandar Raza made his ODI debut in 2013 against Bangladesh but fared poorly with the bat registering only three runs. He made a scintillating comeback in his 4th ODI against India where he belted 82 runs off 112 balls which featured 6 fours and 2 sixes.
His century off 84 balls against Pakistan in May 2015 in Lahore made everyone sit up and notice him. Sikandar’s pinnacle in his career came during the tour of Zimbabwe to Sri Lanka in 2017 where he performed exceptionally well and even guided his team to win the final ODI to seal the series 2-1. His triple tons in the limited over format and a test century to his name, speak volumes of his cricketing ability and potential.
Sikandar’s prowess with the ball is equally commendable. An off-break bowler, his performances in the 2015 world cup impressed the cricketing greats. He registered a five-wicket haul in test cricket against West Indies. Carrying an impressive average of 38.10 in test cricket and 34.68 in ODI, Sikandar has proved his all-round ability across all formats.
Reaction when compared to Shakib
Due to his impressive antics with the bat and the ball as well, he is often likened to Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh. When asked about his reaction to being called the “Shakib Al Hasan of Zimbabwe”, the all-rounder refused to entertain such comparison. Speaking highly of Shakib, Sikandar reiterated that he respects Shakib as the best all-rounder at the moment and the laurels he brought to Bangladesh are a proof of that.
“I respect Shakib Al Hasan a lot. He brought a heck of rare glories for Bangladesh. It’s not only me, but the whole cricket world acknowledges him as the best all-rounder in this moment. I never like people mentioning me as Shakib of Zimbabwe. He is a great performer. He is such a cricketer from whom many things are still to be learnt,” Sikandar said.
With Zimbabwe participating in the tri-nation series in Bangladesh, Sikandar lauded the paying conditions and the opportunities galore in the country. “Considering of playing cricket, the opportunities here are quite incredible. And I have many friends here from in and outside of cricket. It’s always nice to visit here,” he said.