PAKISTAN-Born Zimbabwe cricket batsman Sikandar Raza Butt almost quit the gentleman’s game after learning that he still had four more years to wait before he could be eligible to play for the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) national team.
By Don Makanyanga
The batsman who was called early last week to join camp ahead of the Bangladesh series which starts next week believes he is now ripe to have a dance with the national team.
The 26 year-old batsman told Standardsport that he was delighted that he acquired citizenship earlier than he expected.
“At first when I learnt that I still had to wait for four more years I was disappointed and disheartened and wondered if I had to continue playing cricket.
“My grandfather and father were very supportive urging me to continue working hard. Patience has finally paid off,” said Raza.
Raza paid tribute to Zimbabwe Cricket which he said did not lose faith in his abilities to play for his adopted country.
“I feel humbled and very happy that the coaches and ZC did not lose faith in me for a decade since I made my desire known to them that I wanted to play for Zimbabwe. Now it’s time that I repay that trust,” said Raza.
“I am going to represent the country with honour and pride since it has always been my dream to wear the red jersey at international level.”
Raza described his international debut last year with the Zimbabwe A side, a second string to the national team, as a humbling experience in his international career in the triangular series against Sri-Lanka A and South Africa A.
“It was a test to my character and ability as I found it more competitive than the franchise system,” said Raza.