As Pakistan’s World Cup campaign came to an end after the green shirts lost to co-hosts Australia in the quarter-finals, we saw one green shirt player who stood apart from the rest as one of the most prominent cricket talent. He is none other than wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed.
The nation was expecting him to perform in the mega event of the sport and he lived up to the nation’s hope when he was offered opportunity. We could see his contribution in Pakistan’s campaign for their second World Cup crown.
After veteran batsman Younus Khan and regular opener Nasir Jamshed failed to provide solid starts to the team in the group stages, the selectors decided to include Sarfraz in the playing XI against South Africa. The wicket keeper batsman played extravagant shots, which included three back to back sixes in a single over, went on to make 49 runs in the match. He also leveled Australian great Adam Gilchrist’s record of most catches by a wicket keeper as he took six catches in the same match in his very first World Cup match.
He immediately won the nation’s hearts and became a glimmer of hope that his performance will boost the morale of the team in the mega event. Every Pakistani was found saying “Sarfraz Dhoka Naheen Dega” (Sarfraz will not let down the team).
Pakistan’s next game was a must win encounter against Ireland. If Pakistan win, it would qualify for the quarter-final stage of the tournament. The prolific wicket keeper batsmen fulfilled Pakistan’s hope of a century in this World Cup as he scored a nervous ton in 124 balls with the help of six boundaries.
However, he did not manage to perform in the quarter final as he was sent back to the pavilion after scoring just 10 runs for the team.After his dismissal, Pakistan were all out for a below par score of 213 runs. Australia went on to win the match by six wickets, ending Pakistan’s bid for their second World Cup crown.
Despite playing just three matches in the showcase event of the sport, Sarfraz Ahmed has proved his mettle as one of the country’s most promising cricket talent. His skills and talent have been praised by cricketing experts and legends. He gave confidence and new spirit to the batting side which was felt lacking and easily crumbled in front of the rival teams’ bowling attacks.