Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Ikram Ali Khil on Thursday achieved a rare feat as he broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record of the highest score by a teenager in the World Cup.
The 18-year-old cricketer scored 86 off 92 balls in Afghanistan’s final league fixture against West Indies in Leeds on Thursday.
The 86-run knock saw him break Tendulkar’s record, who scored 84 as an 18-year-old against New Zealand in the 1992 World Cup.
Speaking on his record-breaking performance, Ikram was quoted by PTI as saying, “I’m very proud to have broken the record of a legend like Tendulkar. It makes me very happy.”
However, he also stated that it is not the Indian batting legend but former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara whom he idolizes.
“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,” the Afghan cricketer added.
The young wicketkeeper was unfortunate as his record-breaking knock came in a losing cause as Afghanistan lost the match by 23 runs.
Chasing a stiff 312, Afghanistan could only manage 288 in response. However, his 86-run knock became the top score by an Afghan batsman in this World Cup.
“I’m very happy that I scored 86 runs which was the top score for Afghanistan,” said Ikram, who was part of the Afghanistan team that reached the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup last year.
“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.”
Ikram initially was not part of the Afghanistan 15-member squad for the World Cup. The young wicket-keeper was roped in as a replacement for Mohammad Shahzad after he was ruled out of the tournament due to a knee injury.