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Criticism makes me work harder: Iftikhar

Sports

March 2, 2021

LAHORE: National cricketer and Islamabad United middle order batter Iftikhar Ahmed says he feels spurred by criticism and works even harder to achieve his goals.

The 30-year-old batsman had won the 2018 edition with the franchise and is excited to be donning United’s red and gold again. He hopes of playing a productive role in their ongoing campaign as well.

“It feels good,” he said in an video interview 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,” he added.

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 to spare in their second outing of the season. He struck three sixes and two fours and stitched a 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 boosted 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,” he said. 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 critics wrong with my performances,” he added.

This edition of the HBL PSL provides an opportunity to all the players to stake a claim in the national side for the T20 World Cup later this year. 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.