Afghanistan’s Ikram Ali Khil scored 86 runs against West Indies at Headingley on Thursday (July 4), which is now the highest score by an 18-year-old in World Cup history, surpassing the record of great Sachin Tendulkar.
The wicketkeeper-batsman however idolises Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara and tries to imitate him whenever he goes out to bat.
Ikram's 86 went in vain as Afghanistan fell short by 23 runs and remained winless throughout the competition.
“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.
“His 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.
“I’m very proud to have broken the record of a legend like Tendulkar. It makes me very happy.”
For Ikram, there's a mixture of pride and frustration at producing the highest score by an Afghan at this World Cup.
“I’m very happy that I scored 86 runs which was the top score for Afghanistan,” added Ikram, who was part of the Afghanistan team that reached the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup last year.
“No one had crossed that mark in the 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.
“I want to work very hard at my game and become the best-ever player produced by Afghanistan. I’m very happy with the experience I have got at this World Cup. Both playing with my teammates but the opposition as well, the likes of the West Indian players, Australians, Indians, Pakistanis, they have all helped me and guided me.
“That has given me a lot of confidence and I will go home and work really hard on my game.”