Pakistan’s top-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed was part of the team that lost out narrowly to India in the Asia Cup opener at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. The 31-year-old was preferred to Haider Ali. In what was his first appearance against India, Ahmed got off to a good start and settled in nicely, hitting two fours and a six in his 22-ball 28. He was however undone by the wily Hardik Pandya as he looked set to press on and build on his strong start.
Who is Iftikhar Ahmed?
Iftikhar Ahmed was born on September 3, 1990, in Peshawar which is the capital of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He made his international debut for Pakistan in an ODI against England on November 13, 2015, in Abu Dhabi. England dominated the game and won by 95 runs, and Ahmed scored 5 runs, also taking 1 wicket in the game. His career-best ODI score was 32 not out against Sri Lanka in Karachi in September 2019. In terms of his record as a bowler, he has a 5-wicket haul to his name which he bagged against Zimbabwe at Rawalpindi on November 1, 2020.
He made his Twenty20 debut months after his first ODI appearance, when Pakistan took on Sri Lanka at Mirpur in the 2016 Asia Cup on March 4, 2016. Pakistan won that game with 4 balls to spare, with Ahmed not getting an opportunity to contribute with either bat or ball- he was on the crease when the win was sealed having not faced a ball. He has since gone on to play 20 T20Is and has a top score of 62 not out which he scored against Australia at Canberra on November 5, 2019. He has 1 wicket to his name at the time of writing, which he bagged against England.
Ahmed made his test debut for Pakistan against England at the Oval on August 11, 2016, in a thumping 10-wicket win for the Pakistanis. He contributed with 4 runs in the first innings and took a wicket in the 2nd. He has played 4 test matches in his career, with a top score of 37 and a solitary test wicket to his name- which he took on debut.