Dedicate this ton to all my critics, says Ahmed Shehzad

Press Trust of India | Updated: March 30, 2014, 8:12 PM IST
Dedicate this ton to all my critics, says Ahmed Shehzad

Mirpur: Ahmed Shehzad, who on Sunday became the first Pakistan batsman to score a century in all three formats, took a dig at his critics by dedicating his knock to all those who have criticised him after a couple of failures.

Shehzad scored a brilliant unbeaten hundred as Pakistan crushed hosts Bangladesh by 50 runs in a Group 2 league encounter of the World T20 to keep their semi-final hopes alive on Sunday.

"It's for all my critics who have spoken a lot of harsh things about me. There are a lot of people back home who had a lot to say after a couple of failures. I dedicate this century to all those people," Shehzad said.

Immediately as an after-thought, he said that it was also for his "fans, who had loved him". Shehzad had scores of 22 and 5 in the last two matches against India and Australia. On Sunday, he also surpassed his previous record of 98 not out scored against Zimbabwe at Harare in an earlier T20 match.

"I always dreamt of becoming the first Pakistani player to score a century in all three formats. Prior to this match, I was listening to so many things but then the coach and the captain gave me a lot of confidence. I had a plan as I decided to pick up certain bowlers and go after them," the 22-year-old said.

Shehzad, however, termed his 98 at Harare being a special one as it helped him cement his place in the national side.

"Harare innings was special as my place in the ODI team was still not certain. Today, when I was batting on 70-odd, Shoaib Malik came up to me and said that 'you will easily score a century today'. That gave a lot of confidence," he said.

"Agreed that the margin of error for bowlers is very less but in T20s, even the batsmen need to improvise. There will be days when some shots will come well and some days they won't. My humble request to all those experts and critics is that please don't judge a young player on the basis of one or two innings and be careful about what you say," he added.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was distraught as he failed to offer any new explanation for his team's disastrous performance and went to the extent of admitting that his team does not have the ability to beat top sides consistently in this format.

First Published: March 30, 2014, 8:12 PM IST

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