"Chat with Sachin gave me confidence": Ibrahim Zadran after becoming AFG's first WC centurion
Afghanistan's Ibrahim Zadran shared insights into the valuable advice he received from Sachin Tendulkar following his historic century against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium on November 7. Zadran etched his name in history as the first Afghan cricketer to register a century in a World Cup match, contributing significantly to Afghanistan's formidable total of 291 runs in 50 overs during a crucial encounter in Mumbai.
Zadran's path to this milestone was anything but easy. He demonstrated great resilience, remaining unbeaten on 129 off 143 deliveries and dispatching eight boundaries & three sixes on his way to the century mark. The pivotal moment arrived when he seized a daring single off the bowling of Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood. An erratic throw at the stumps granted him the opportunity to complete the run, prompting a jubilant celebration.
This marked Zadran's fifth century in the 50-overs format. His stellar performance eclipsed the previous highest World Cup score of 96, held by former Afghanistan cricketer Samiullah Shinwari against Scotland in the 2015 edition.
During the innings break, Zadran disclosed that he had the privilege of conversing with Tendulkar a day prior to the game as the cricketing icon paid a visit to the Afghan team. The opening batter expressed his awe at the experience of meeting Tendulkar and found it challenging to put into words the invaluable advice he received from the legend.
Ibrahim Zadran was inspired to emulate Sachin Tendulkar's legacy
Zadran further revealed that he was inspired to emulate Tendulkar's legacy from his playing days and was determined to make him proud in the game.
"I want to say something. I had a good chat with Sachin Tendulkar yesterday. It was an amazing experience, and he shared with me some words of advice which I can't express in words. He shared way too many experiences, and he talked about his 24-year cricketing journey. He said to me that he was a ball picker (ball-boy) here before he started cricket. Before the match, I said that I would do what Sachin Tendulkar did and make him proud," said Zadran.
Talking of restraint and identifying the right time to go after an attack, Tendulkar said that getting a grasp of the game situation was key.
“You can't go bang bang bang all the time sometimes you just need to understand the situation and say that ‘okay, I may not get as many loose deliveries, but I'm going to hang around and possibly four overs down the line doors might open for me and then the best thing is to surrender yourself to your natural instincts.’