Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Will Young, the New Zealand batsman, acknowledged the destruction Iftikhar Ahmed can wreak since he can recall “a couple of knocks” where the Pakistan big-hitter almost won matches single-handedly.
Iftikhar has stamped his authority as one of the finishers in the Pakistan team, especially in T20Is. But, he is also starting to be picked more often in ODIs.
Young has seen firsthand how dangerous the 32-year-old can be as they faced each other when Pakistan and New Zealand played a limited overs series earlier in 2023.
Iftikhar made 129 runs in the five-match T20I series, which included a top score of 60, at an average of 43 and a strike-rate of 195.45.
The Peshawar native then proceeded to smash 122 runs in two ODIs, which included a top score of 94 not out, at an average of 122 and a strike-rate of 129.78.
“I can recall a couple of knocks when he almost won the game single-handedly,” Young was quoted as saying by A Sports.
Since Iftikhar wasn’t picked for Pakistan’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which they won 2-0, he represented the Surrey Jaguars in the Global T20 Canada and the Colombo Strikers in the Lanka Premier League (LPL).
Most recently, he played in the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan and accumulated 47 runs in two games at an average of 23.50 and a strike-rate of 72.30.
Next up for him and the men in green will be the Asia Cup, which will take place in Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 30 to September 17.
Pakistan Asia Cup squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir