'If There is No Cricket From Tomorrow..' Sikandar Raza Reflects On His 2023 IPL Campaign
Raza reflects on his PBKS journey [AP Photos]
In a recent interview with ESPNcricinfo, Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza opened up on some of his memorable moments and was asked a few questions on his experience in the ongoing IPL season. His side may be on the brink of elimination, but the 37-year-old has made significant contributions to his side and bagged several achievements under his belt.
At first, he was asked to comment on his own performance. Raza cited that he is mentally in a happy place and has no regrets in terms of his efforts on the field. The fact that the Zimbabwean batting stalwart achieved a Player of the Match award, two MVPs, and one Dream 11 award gave him immense pleasure and satisfaction.
He further admits that the home and away fixtures get very taxing as it requires intense preparation, traveling and packing but reckons that he has been able to cope up with the workload well.
"I can't rate my own performance (laughs), but I have given my everything every time I have gone out to the field. I have no regrets in terms of my effort. I have got a Player of the Match [award], two MVPs, and one Dream 11 [award, for most fantasy points in a match], so at least I have four trophies to take home. That's something to be humbled about, I guess."
He was also asked to unravel his experience during his side's encounter against CSK where he played a valiant cameo in the backend of the innings to steer PBKS to a last ball victory. He walked out to bat during the 19th over and played an infinitesimal yet gritty knock of 13 (7) to get his side over the line.
Raza revealed that the ground situation was very intense as the noise level was through the roof. But he enjoyed batting under these circumstances and maintained his focus on the chase.
"I think as an overseas [player], you have to try to perform every game. There will be failures along the way, but the standard of this league is so high, if overseas [players] fail to perform, then the local guys always manage to cover [for them]."
He also took this opportunity to shower praise on young Pathirana who bowled his heart out in the last over. Raza opines that the young Sri Lankan speedster is a bit trickier to pick compared to Malinga and with his fiery thunderbolts clocking up to 145 km/hr, Pathirana could become a very dangerous customer with the ball.