Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Pakistan pace icon Shoaib Akhtar has praised opening batsman Abdullah Shafique for batting with determination during the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Shafique was the back-up opener coming into the tournament, but after just one match, he was drafted into the playing XI at the expense of Fakhar Zaman.
The 23-year-old made an instant impact as he struck a career-best 113 against Sri Lanka.
Overall, the Sialkot-born cricketer finished with 336 runs in eight games at an average of 42.
Considering the magnitude of the event and the tough job given to him, Akhtar admitted that Shafique did remarkably well.
“Our young opener [Abdullah Shafique] did well and batted with determination,” he said in a video on X as quoted by NDTV.
Pakistan started their World Cup campaign with victories over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka before losing their next four matches to India, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa.
They bounced back to beat Bangladesh and New Zealand, but ended up falling short of making it to the semi-finals.
In their last group stage game, Pakistan lost to England by 93 runs.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali