Afghanistan batsman Ikram Ali Khil registered the highest score by an 18-year-old in the World Cup during his team’s 23-run loss to West Indies here on Thursday. Sachin Tendulkar held the record before him, having scored 84 as an 18-year-old at the 1992 edition.
“I’m very proud to have broken the record of a legend like Tendulkar. It makes me very happy,” Ali Khil, the wicket-keeper batsman, said.
For Ikam, the role model isn’t Tendulkar but fellow left-hand batsman Kumar Sangakkara. “Kumar Sangakkara is always in mind and my thoughts when I am batting out there,” said Ikram, who is yet to meet the Sri Lankan great.
'World class' Sangakkara
“[Sangakkara’s] ability to rotate 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,” Ikram said.
Ikram was disappointed not to score a century. He said: “I’m very happy that I scored 86 runs which was the top score for Afghanistan. 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 was part of Afghanistan’s squad that progressed to the semifinals of the U-19 World Cup in 2018.