Sikandar Raza, the Pakistan born Zimbabwean all-rounder, is one of the best Zimbabwean cricketers of this generation
A right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler, Raza is a key player on the Zimbabwean cricket team.
So, here we have listed 15 facts about Sikandar Raza.
1) On 24 April 1986, Sikandar Raza was born in the city of Sialkot in North-East Pakistan
2) Exceptional in studies, Raza aspired to become a Pakistan Air Force pilot
He gave the exam for becoming an ‘Air Force Pilot’ and was one of the 60 applicants to clear the test among 60,000 applicants
But unfortunately, he failed a ‘mandatory vision test’ and couldn’t make it to the Airforce
3) Raza went to Scotland to complete his bachelor’s degree in software engineering
While studying at the Glasgow Caledonian University, he started to play semi-professional cricket and eventually made cricket his career
4) In 2002, their family moved to Zimbabwe but had to face a lot of problems regarding the citizenship
Ultimately, in 2011, Sikandar was granted the Zimbabwean citizenship
5) In 2007, Sikandar Raza made his first-class debut for Northerns and played for them between 2007 and 2009
In the 2010 Stanbic Bank 20 Competition, Raza scored 625 runs at an average of 41 and was the leading run-getter in the competition
6) On 3 May 2013, Sikandar Raza made his ODI debut for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh in Bulawayo, becoming the 116th cricketer to represent Zimbabwe in ODIs
7) On 24 July 2013, Sikandar Raza played a superb 82 run knock against India in Harare
It was only his fourth ODI but this knock made him a household name in India
8) He had a poor outing in the 2015 Cricket World Cup but impressed many cricket fans with his off-spin bowling.
9) In May 2015, against Pakistan, Raza played a destructive knock of 100 not out ( off 84 balls ) at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore
10) During India’s tour of Zimbabwe in 2015, Raza was named as the stand-in captain in the second T20I for an injured Elton Chigumbura
In that 2nd T20I match, Raza led Zimbabwe to their first win in that series over India by 10 runs.
11) During Zimbabwe’s tour to Sri Lanka in 2017, Sikandar Raza ( 3/21 and 27 ) guided Zimbabwe to their first-ever series win against Sri Lanka
It was also their first away series victory since 2009 and Raza managed to win the ‘Man of the match’ in the final ODI.
12) In November 2017, during the 2nd test against the West Indies, Sikandar Raza took his maiden Test five-wicket haul in the second innings
Raza also scored two half-centuries along with that fifer and became the second test cricketer to score 80+ runs in both innings and take a five-wicket haul after Kallis
13) In February 2018, during the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers, Sikandar Raza scored 319 runs and picked 15 wickets, and won the ‘Player of The Tournament’ award
14) In January 2020, in the second Test against Sri Lanka, Raza ended with figures of 7-113, the second-best bowling figures in an innings for a Zimbabwe bowler
On 6 March 2020, Raza played his 100th ODI match against Bangladesh in Sylhet
15) Tagged as a T20 specialist, Raza has played in domestic t20 leagues all over the world