"If I Listened To What Others Say About Me, I Would Have Left Cricket 10 Years Ago": Iftikhar Ahmed On Playing In His 30s

Updated - 26 Jan 2023, 11:51 AM

Iftikhar Ahmed. Photo- Twitter
Iftikhar Ahmed. Photo- Twitter

Iftikhar Ahmed, Pakistan’s middle-order batsman, is affectionately known as Chacha-e-Cricket in Pakistani cricket circles. The 32-year-old is presently playing for Fortune Barishal in the Bangladesh Premier League, where he just scored his first T20 century.

Iftikhar Ahmed hit a half-century against India at the recent T20 World Cup.

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Iftikhar ahmed. PC- Getty
Iftikhar Ahmed. PC- Getty

Iftikhar spoke candidly with Cricbuzz about his frustration with not getting enough opportunities in Tests and ODIs.

“Look, if you talk about my ODIs and look at my innings, you will notice that most people don’t understand anything and just keep stating that I couldn’t perform in ODIs. I batted in the middle order, and if you look at my innings, you’ll notice that sometimes I went there to bat for three or five overs, and other times I only faced two or three balls,” Iftikhar Ahmed Said.

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Iftikhar Ahmed
Iftikhar Ahmed. Pic Credits: Twitter

“Alhamdulillah, whenever I had the opportunity, I won the game for the squad. I won four games in the first seven one-dayers and was named man of the match twice. So it is incorrect that I was unable to perform in the other formats,” Iftikhar Ahmed Added.

“I feel bad thinking what these people are trying to say”: Iftikhar Ahmed

When Iftikhar opened up to Cricbuzz about playing in his 30s, he said,  “Yes, it comes to my ears and I feel bad because, after all, I am a human being. I feel bad thinking about what these people are trying to say, but despite everything, I only try to focus on cricket. If I had listened to what people are saying I would have left cricket 10 years back,” Iftikhar Ahmed said.

Iftikhar Ahmed
Image Source: Twitter

“There are players like Shoaib Malik, Misbah Ul Haq, and Younis Khan, as well as all the major players in the world, as examples. They were mentally and physically fit, which is how they accomplished so much into their 30s,” Iftikhar Ahmed said.

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik[photo: Twitter]
“If it was based on what people are saying then there would have been nothing in this world. People are not happy at any point and in my career and in my life people hardly have a place because I don’t know how to make people happy and neither do I try to make people happy,” Iftikhar Ahmed Added.

He scored his first T20 century in January 2023 while representing Fortune Barishal in the Bangladesh Premier League for the 2022–23 season.

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Iftikhar Ahmed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Pakistan national cricket team