Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza has plied his trade in various leagues around the world, including the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Caribbean Premier League (BPL), Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), and Lanka Premier League (LPL). At the age of 36, Raza has finally got a chance to make his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
On Friday, December 23, Punjab Kings (PBKS) bought the services of Sikandar Raza in the auction at his base price of INR 50 lakhs. It’s not surprising that the Sialkot-born Raza is excited about playing his trade for the Punjab-based franchise.
As per the quotes in ESPNCricinfo, Sikandar Raza said, “It was part of my thinking that before I hang my boots up, it would be nice to have the IPL on my CV. Alhamdulillah (thank God) it has happened. I am really happy, humble and excited at the same time. I would have [been fine with] any franchise but to have a Punjabi munda in Punjab, it is a great match.”
Sikandar Raza shared the emotions that went through when the auction was going on. The veteran said that his internet got disconnected and he failed to follow the auction, after which he consistently received congratulatory messages.
Explaining the same, Sikandar Raza said, “I was in training today. I was calm. Sometimes I was nervous. I went through all the emotions before the auction. We went back to the hotel. Then there was an anti-corruption meeting [while the auction was on]. When it was my turn at the IPL auction, I was moving from one room to another, and the internet got disconnected. While it was connecting back again, I started getting a lot of messages from my friends, congratulating me.”
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) December 23, 2022
He further added, “I said, ‘What, I can’t see it. Are you guys playing a prank?’ They said to check the auction. I said I am checking but I haven’t even been up there. What happened was, by the time I reconnected, I had gone already. So, basically, I didn’t see the bid. Maybe that was a good thing actually. I reckon it’s a good thing. If I was watching, I would have shouted in the meeting!”
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Sikandar Raza has been one of the top performers, especially in T20s in 2022. He recently broke the former Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s record of most T20I Player of the Match awards in a calendar year. In 158 T20s, Raza scored 3109 runs at an average of 23.55 and picked up 79 wickets with two four-wicket hauls to his name.