“Ricky Ponting played a key role in my match-winning display against Pakistan” Sikandar Raza
Sikandar Raza : The upset result brought back memories of Zimbabwe’s win over Australia in the 50-over World Cup in 1983.
Raza revealed his man-of-the-match performance in Perth was partly inspired by watching a video of Ponting enthusing about him.
“I couldn’t sleep much last night. For me, this game was playing over and over again,” Raza said.
“We don’t get to play top nations a lot. We don’t get to play under lights a lot. This is my first game in Perth.
“My body was sleeping, but my mind was constantly spinning, reading, thinking about the game.
When I woke up a friend of mine sent me a message and he said, ‘have you seen a clip on the ICC page?’
“That was Ricky Ponting talking about Zimbabwe, and in particular me.
“Listen, some of my friends and family members messaged and they had a tear in their eye. For me, I had goosebumps.
“It was one of the greats of the game talking about Zimbabwe, and in particular me.
“Not that I needed an extra kick, but if I needed one, that clip did the job for me
An eye condition prevented Raza from realising his first dream – becoming a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force.
Raza emigrated to Zimbabwe to 2002, and he has flourished in the national set-up of his adopted country.