Jo jeeta wohi Sikandar!

Published on May 28, 2015 10:41:42 AM
Sports

-By Ravi Bhanshali

Cricket has been brimming with players who have turned out for the country other than their homeland. Cricketers have dependably demonstrated the multifaceted design of national identity from Ranjitsinhji in the Victorian era to Kevin Pietersen at the beginning of the twenty-first century, including 22 men who have brought glory to two countries.

The tale of Sikandar Raza Butt, who took birth on the soil of Punjab region of Pakistan in 1986, is rare even among this group. His first goal was not to get into a sporting career, but he had rather aspired to become an Air Force pilot. This ambition seemed well on its way to be a reality, fighting out tens of thousands of claimants for a place in the national Air Force College. However, his dreams were cut short when he failed an eye test, ruining hopes of life as a flyer.

Due to the fact that he couldn't anymore take to the skies, he registered at Langside College in Scotland, where he pursued his software engineering.

It was amid his time in Scotland that cricket turned into a crucial part of Sikandar's life. He made his place in the local side Weirs, wherein he was referred affectionately by his teammates as Sykes, and henceforth in larger clubs including Renfrew, Ayr and Prestwick.

Rather than engaging on initiating himself on the Scottish scene, Sikandar planned an overall altered route. His parents had travelled to Zimbabwe in 2002 and he had played a couple of outstanding games in the country during 2007. However, another door opened in 2010 with an overview of franchises and a fresh instillation of money. He was presented a Twenty20 contract by the Southern Rocks team and Sikandar soon found his position as a hard-hitting striker. The following season, he registered the highest runs for any domestic player, which comprised an innings of 93 from 48 balls and in the same match he opened with the colossal Brian Lara and notched 78 of their 98 run partnership.

Twenty20 soon prompted to a full contract and the small world of Zimbabwean cricket quickly paid heed to this newcomer. His citizenship was taken further by the authorities and Sikandar was enlisted into the national team.

Till date, his only match-winning performance has been a stunning 141 against Afghanistan, but the members of selection panel seem keen to stick with this man. Sikandar has earned his opportunity to crack International cricket, which is a tough nut game.