“I never had this thought”

Zimbabwe batter Sikandar Raza has said that he never intended to play for Pakistan despite being born there. The batting all-rounder also added that he initially wanted to become a fighter pilot, but life had other plans in store for him.

Born in Sialkot, Punjab, Raza moved to Zimbabwe, where his parents have been since 2002. The 36-year old made his first-class debut in 2007 and was granted citizenship of the African nation four years later.

Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, the right-handed batter said that the thought of donning a green jersey never occurred to him, as he wanted to become a fighter pilot.

“I never had this thought when I lived in Pakistan, so how can it come when I am playing against them? I have told this before; I never left Pakistan to become a cricketer, my objective was to become a fighter pilot but I couldn’t become.

The veteran said that before playing cricket professionally, he wanted to pursue masters after software engineering:

“I did software engineering and my family moved to Zimbabwe till then. I was planning to do masters, but eventually, I had an opportunity to play in domestic cricket for Zimbabwe and the journey (commenced),” said Raza.

Having applied to the Air Force College, the Pakistan-born player was one of 60 to win a spot among 60,000 applicants. However, he failed an eye test in the third year.


“Pakistan players who were from the start are still friends” – Sikandar Raza

Sikandar Raza made 135 off 108 balls. (Credits: Twitter)
Sikandar Raza made 135 off 108 balls. (Credits: Twitter)

The 36-year old also mentioned that he remains in good terms with Pakistan players, especially Shoaib Malik. He also praised Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

“Pakistan players are who were from the start are still friends. Shoaib Malik has always been in touch; we talk a lot ,and I ask questions. I don’t think there would be anyone who doesn’t love Babar Azam. Not just Babar, I love Rizi Bhai too, and he looks brilliant while playing,”

Meanwhile, the veteran shone in the first ODI against Bangladesh in Harare on Friday. He scored an unbeaten 135 as the hosts chased down 304 with five wickets to spare.