Teams Played For
Pakistan, Pakistan A, Karachi Kings, Pakistan Cricket Board Patrons XI, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United, Kandahar Knights
A consistent run-scorer in the domestic circuit of Pakistan Cricket and knocking on the doors for national selection against the likes of Babar Azam and Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed is a top-order batsman and more than a handy off-break spin bowler.
Aspiring to be a cricketer from a young age, the all-rounder was introduced to play for Peshawar in Faysal Bank T20 Cup and made his debut in Lahore in 2010. However, after a string of ordinary performances in the tournament, he was dropped from the squad.
The major setback in his early days, forced him to buckle up and improve his batting techniques. Then in October 2015, England was touring the UAE and Iftikhar Ahmed was named in Pakistan ‘A’ squad. He blasted an impressive 92 against a remarkable bowling attack including James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Moeen Ali which caught the eyes of the national selectors. He made his ODI debut against England in the second match on November 13, 2015 but once again failed to lay an impression with single-digit scores in both the ODI’s that he played.
Initially selected for the 2016 ICC Twenty20 World Cup, the player was dropped out due to poor international form. He later made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka in the 2016 Asia Cup on March 4, 2016 but failed to seal his spot. Ahmed disappointed his fans yet again when he was called up to play his maiden Test match against England in the final match of the series on August 11, 2016. Replacing Mohammed Hafeez who was struggling throughout the series, Iftikhar was dismissed for just 4 runs.
The right-handed batsman was forced back to domestic cricket and this is where the Peshawar-born prospect showed his true colours. He was the leading run-scorer in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy in 2017-18 for his team Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and repeated the feat once again next season. Iftikhar’s career-defining moment came when he made a comeback in the T20 squad in 2019 and smashed a brilliant 62 not out against the Aussies in the second T20I.
Iftikhar Ahmed made his return to ODI cricket after 5 years on November 1, 2020 against Zimbabwe in the second ODI and picked up his maiden five-wicket haul. His domestic form in recent times has made him a tough candidate in front of the selectors of the national team and his dream of playing for Pakistan is still very much on the cards.