Criticism drives me to work harder – Iftikhar Ahmed

LAHORE:Iftikhar Ahmed is back with Islamabad United in the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 and the middle-order batsman had won the 2018 edition with the franchise.

30-year-old player is excited to be donning United’s red and gold and is hopeful of playing a productive role in their ongoing campaign.

“It feels good,” he told pcb.com.pk on Monday about joining United. “I have played before for Islamabad [United] and won a title with them in Karachi. The support staff and the team management is very helpful. It was my wish to play for Islamabad United again. I hope that Islamabad [United] will lift the trophy again.”

Iftikhar stroked a crucial 49 not out against Karachi Kings – for whom he turned out in 2016, 2019 and 2020 – to help United surmount a daunting 197-run target with five balls spare in their second outing of the season. He

struck three sixes and two fours and stitched match-altering stand of 92 with Hussain Talat over his 37-ball knock.

Reflecting on that match, Iftikhar said: “As a professional, when you perform against any team, you get happy.

I was in Karachi Kings for three years, so when I did well against them, it helped boost my confidence.

“My role as a middle-order batsman is to take the game deep and finish it. So, I try to build the innings by scoring run-a-ball early on and then increase my scoring rate.”

To a question about how he copes with criticism, Iftikhar said that rather than taking it negatively, he uses it

as a driving force to improve his performances.

“When I am criticized, I work harder,” he said. “I try to prove the criticism wrong with my performances.

This edition of the HBL PSL provides a brilliant opportunity to all the participating players to stake a claim in the national side for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year with outstanding performances. Naturally, Iftikhar

is eyeing a spot.

“I have been part of the national team’s set-up for the past two years and I am determined to represent Pakistan

in the T20 World Cup,” he said.