Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Iftikhar Ahmed, the big-hitting middle order batsman, said Pakistan captain Babar Azam gave him the nickname of “chacha”, which means uncle.
He noted that Azam called him this during a match Pakistan played against Zimbabwe.
“This nickname was given to me by Babar Azam when we were playing Zimbabwe. The nickname got heard on the stump mic, see cricket is a game of performance. If a player performs, it is good for him,” he was quoted as saying by Cricwick.
Iftikhar has become Pakistan’s go-to power-hitter and finisher in T20Is and is slowly starting to get more opportunities in ODIs too.
During the recent limited overs series against New Zealand, he was exceptional with the bat, scoring 129 runs in five T20Is, which included a top score of 60, at an average of 43 and a strike-rate of 195.45.
He then featured in the five-match ODI series, where he amassed 122 runs in two games, which included a top score of 94 not out, at an average of 122 and a strike-rate of 129.78.
Pakistan will now face Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series from July 16 to 28, but Iftikhar was not named in the squad that was announced.
Pakistan Squad for Sri Lanka Test Series: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc & wk), Aamer Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Muhammad Huraira, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Noman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shan Masood