Karachi:Iftikhar Ahmed is back with Islamabad United in the HBL Pakistan Super League 6. The 30-year-old middle-order batsman had won the 2018 edition with the franchise. He is excited to be donning United’s red and gold and is hopeful of playing a productive role in their ongoing campaign.
“It feels good,” he told pcb.com.pk about joining United. “I have played before for Islamabad [United] and won a title with them in Karachi. The support staff and the team management is very helpful. It was my wish to play for Islamabad United again. I hope that Islamabad [United] will lift the trophy again.”
Iftikhar stroked a crucial 49 not out against Karachi Kings – for whom he turned out in 2016, 2019 and 2020 – to help United surmount a daunting 197-run target with five balls spare in their second outing of the season. He struck three sixes and two fours and stitched match-altering stand of 92 with Hussain Talat over his 37-ball knock.
Reflecting on that match, Iftikhar said: “As a professional, when you perform against any team, you get happy. I was in Karachi Kings for three years, so when I did well against them, it helped boost my confidence.
“My role as a middle-order batsman is to take the game deep and finish it. So, I try to build the innings by scoring run-a-ball early on and then increase my scoring rate.”
To a question about how he copes with criticism, Iftikhar said that rather than taking it negatively, he uses it as a driving force to improve his performances.
“When I am criticised, I work harder,” he said. “I try to prove the criticism wrong with my performances.
This edition of the HBL PSL provides a brilliant opportunity to all the participating players to stake a claim in the national side for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year with outstanding performances. Naturally, Iftikhar is eyeing a spot.
“I have been part of the national team’s set-up for the past two years and I am determined to represent Pakistan in the T20 World Cup,” he said.