After Fakhar Zaman thrashed a number of records during Pakistan’s five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, which they won it by 5-0, he revealed that records and statistics do not matter much to him.
The 28-year old flamboyant opening batsman became the fastest batsman to reach 1,000 runs in ODIs, he scored 515 runs in the series, which is the most by a Pakistani batsman in a five-match bilateral ODI series and became the first Pakistani batsman to score a double-ton in the format.
However, the primary focus of Fakhar has always been winning games for his country rather than personal milestones.
“Honestly, I’m not a big fan of statistics because my primary objective is to help Pakistan win as much as possible,” Fakhar told Dawn News. “Records are meant to be broken, but for me that aspect is hardly on my mind when I go out to bat.”
“Although there are many players I know who are obsessed with records and various other milestones, but to me they matter little since the requirements of the team come first,” he added.
Still, the former navy-man is happy with what he has achieved during the tour.
“Nevertheless, I am quite happy with what I achieved during the [Zimbabwe] tour. By grace of Almighty Allah, Pakistan won both [T20 tri-series and the ODI rubber] and I’m glad that I played a part in our team’s success,” he said.
Talking about becoming the first double-centurion of Pakistan, he told he did not have Saeed Anwar’s record of 194 runs on his mind. He only had his coach, Mickey Arthur’s word in his system that he can become the first Pakistani to score 200 runs in an ODI.
“The day before the fourth match, Mickey told me that I could get a big one in this game if I applied myself a bit more. Thereafter, Mickey’s words kept reminding me that I should get a double century because no one from Pakistan had made one,” he shared.
“That’s why I completely forgot about Saeed bhai being Pakistan’s record-holder [of the highest ODI score],” he added.
Zaman also mention how his young opening partner, Imam Ul Haq, who also opens batting with him in domestic cricket for Habib Bank Limited, how he kept him going during the inning.
“I must give a lot of credit to Imam as well as he was a tremendous source of inspiration at the other end. Whenever he noticed me getting slightly disinterested, he would come down and say: ‘You can do it brother, concentrate hard and Insha’Allah you’ll be there’,” he told.
“I think Imam deserves a pat on the back as well for his great, great support during the long partnership. Frankly speaking, having Imam as my [opening] partner is the best thing since his style of batting suits my game and moreover we have developed great rapport with each other,” he added.
After making a mark in limited over cricket, Fakhar Zaman wants to replicate his performance in the longest format of the game for Pakistan. He believes he is ready to represent his country in Whites as well.
“My next target is playing Test cricket. For someone who initially dreamt of getting a Pakistan cap and being proud of it probably with a few international matches, it would be some achievement to make the grade at the highest level,” he went on to say.
“I feel playing a Test match, Alhamdulillah, would be an opportunity to test the skills I possess, although I consider one-day format as my favourite,” he added.