Mushfiqur Rahim Profile | Career Info, Records Biography

Sikandar Raza

Sikandar Raza Butt (Urdu: سکندر رضا‎; born 24 April 1986) is a Pakistani-born Zimbabwean international cricketer, who plays all formats primarily as a batsman.

Born in Sialkot, Raza emigrated to Zimbabwe in 2001 along with his family. He soon became one of the best batsman in the domestic competition and caught the eye of the Zimbabwe selectors. The only problem was citizenship issues, which was granted in 2011.[1]

Domestic and T20 franchise career

Sikander Raza was born in Sialkot[2] to Punjabi speaking Muslim parents of Kashmiri roots.[3] He studied at the Pakistan Air Force Public School Lower Topa for three years and aspired to be a Pakistan Air Force pilot, but his dreams were cut short when he failed a vision test mandatory for selection.[4][5] In 2002, Raza moved with his family to Zimbabwe. He went to Scotland, where he pursued a bachelor's degree in software engineering at the Glasgow Caledonian University.[6] It was here where Raza played semi-professional cricket, realising his potential.[4] After the revamping of Zimbabwe's domestic structure in 2009, he went on to play first-class cricket for the Mashonaland Eagles. He is a successful first-class cricketer, with a top score of 146.

He also played List A cricket originally for Northerns but later switched to play for Mashonaland Eagles. He made his List A debut in 2007.[7] He made his Twenty20 debut for the Southern Rocks in 2010 against the Desert Vipers.[8]

He turned out to be a Twenty20 specialist, and was the leading run-scorer in the 2010 Stanbic Bank T20 Competition.

In the Metbank Pro40 Championship Final in 2010, he scored a brilliant 44 for Southern Rocks as they cruised to the title against Mid West Rhinos. It was his first big performance that caught the selectorial eye.[9] In January 2011, he achieved his career best List-A score of 80 runs.

His performances earned him a place in the preliminary squad for Zimbabwe's 2011 Cricket World Cup campaign, but did not make it to the final squads. By then he had another fine performance, at the Masvingo Sports Club where his opening stand of 161 with Chamu Chibhabha, simply by bludgeoning the Matabeleland Tuskers bowlers, led the foundation for a massive Southern Rocks victory.[10]

This made the Zimbabwean selectors select him for the training squad for the Australia A and South Africa A tri-series.[11] The only matter, was he did not have citizenship status,[12] which was granted in September 2011.[13][14] By then he had another remarkable performance scoring 93 off just 48 balls for Southern Rocks against Matabeleland Tuskers in just the previous week's Wednesday in a Twenty20 match.

Opening the innings with the legendary West Indian Brian Lara and then getting great support from Elton Chigumbura, Raza took on the Matabeleland Tuskers's bowling attack.[15] He then represented a Zimbabwe XI side before the Bangladeshi tour to Zimbabwe started. Zimbabwe XI won the two matches.

On 3 June 2018, he was selected to play for the Montreal Tigers in the players' draft for the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada tournament.[16][17]

In October 2018, he was named in Tshwane Spartans' squad for the first edition of the Mzansi Super League T20 tournament.[18][19] Later the same month, he was named in the squad for the Chittagong Vikings team, following the draft for the 2018–19 Bangladesh Premier League.[20]

In July 2019, he was selected to play for the Amsterdam Knights in the inaugural edition of the Euro T20 Slam cricket tournament.[21][22] However, the following month the tournament was cancelled.[23]

International career

Raza made his ODI debut for Zimbabwe in May 2013 against Bangladesh and scored 3 runs batting at no. 3, thus becoming the 116th player to appear for Zimbabwe in the format.

Raza scored 82 off 112 balls with 6 fours and two sixes against India in his 4th ODI only. He scored 60 runs on his debut against Pakistan at Harare Sports Club, in which he had a 127-run partnership for the fourth wicket that put the hosts on course for the lead. Despite scoring a half-century on his Test debut on 3 September 2013, he was dropped from the team when Zimbabwean captain Brendan Taylor returned to the team. He has also represented Zimbabwe in Cricket World Cup 2015. His World Cup performance was not great, but he impressed many by his Bowling. Raza made 100* off 84 balls against Pakistan in May 2015 at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

Raza made his T20I debut on 5 November 2013 against Bangladesh. He is also the youngest person to hit a fifty in T20I.[24] He achieved this feat when he was just above 17 years old.

Raza was named stand-in captain in the second T20I during the India tour of Zimbabwe in 2015. Before this, he captained four times for Mash Eagles in domestic cricket in 2012. He led Zimbabwe in their first win of the tour by 10 runs.

In 2014, Raza, along with Hamilton Masakadza, set the highest partnership for any wicket for Zimbabwe in One Day International cricket(224 for the first wicket)[25]In fact this is the highest ever opening run stand for Zimbabwe in ODIs. Also he jointly with Tendai Chisoro set the highest record 9th wicket partnership for Zimbabwe in ODI cricket[25] During the second match against New Zealand in 2015 he scored his third century 100* on 95 deliveries.

The highlight of Raza's match-winning ability was came during the Zimbabwe tour to Sri Lanka in 2017. He guided Zimbabwe to win the final ODI to seal the series 3–2, their first ever series win against Sri Lanka.[26] It was their first away series win since 2009[27] and the first away series win against a Test nation since defeating Bangladesh in 2001.[28] It was also Zimbabwe's first win in a five-match series away from home.[29] Raza won the man of the match award for his match winning knock in the final ODI.[30]

In the same tour, Raza scored his maiden Test century, guiding Zimbabwe to post a huge task to chase for the hosts.[31] Despite his performances, Sri Lanka chased 389 runs and won the one-off test, by recording the highest chase in Asian soil.[32]

During the second test against West Indies, Raza took his maiden Test five-wicket haul in the second innings. Apart from fifer, Raza also scored two fifties and became only the second Test cricketer to score 80 plus in both innings and take a five-wicket haul after Proteas Jacques Kallis.[33][34] Due to his all-round performances, Zimbabwe able to draw the match, and earned him man of the match as well. This draw, gave Zimbabweans, their first draw in 12 years, and the first time they avoid a loss since 2013 in 10 Tests.[35]

In February 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named Raza as one of the ten players to watch ahead of the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament.[36][37] He was awarded the Player of The Tournament award for his 319 runs and 15 wickets during the Cricket World Cup Qualifiers though Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.


  1. ^ Biography Cricinfo. Retrieved 22 October 2011
  2. ^ "Born in one country, played for another". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  3. ^ Iyer, Aditya (19 July 2015). "Sikandar Raza Butt: The reluctant cricketer". Indian Express. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b Chidananda, Shreedutta (13 March 2015). "Sikander Raza: From Pakistan, via Scotland, to Zimbabwe". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "'Do we just burn our kits and apply for jobs?' - Sikandar Raza". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  7. ^ Scorecard Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 September 2011
  8. ^ Scorecard Cricinfo. Retrieved 25 September 2011
  9. ^ Southern Rocks cruise to Pro40 title Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 September 2011
  10. ^ MetBank Pro40 Championship: Raza, Chibhabha bludgeon Tuskers Cricinfo. Retrieved 9 November 2011
  11. ^ Sikandar Raza closer to Zimbabwe debut Cricinfo. Retrieved 4 November 2011
  12. ^ Can Raza Butt for Country? Retrieved 10 November 2011
  13. ^ Raza wants to play for Zimbabwe ZimCricketForums. Retrieved 15 November 2011
  14. ^ Selectors considering eligible Raza for T20 selection Retrieved 12 December 2011
  15. ^ Star-studded Rocks bounce back Retrieved 24 November 2011
  16. ^ "Global T20 Canada: Complete Squads". SportsKeeda. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Global T20 Canada League – Full Squads announced". CricTracker. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Mzansi Super League - full squad lists". Sport24. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Mzansi Super League Player Draft: The story so far". Independent Online. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Full players list of the teams following Players Draft of BPL T20 2018-19". Bangladesh Cricket Board. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Eoin Morgan to represent Dublin franchise in inaugural Euro T20 Slam". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Euro T20 Slam Player Draft completed". Cricket Europe. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Inaugural Euro T20 Slam cancelled at two weeks' notice". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Youngest to hit fifty in T20I". CillyPoint. CillyPoint. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Cricket Records | Records | / | Zimbabwe | One-Day Internationals | Highest partnerships by wicket | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  26. ^ "Zimbabwe claim historic series win". Cricket Australia. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Zimbabwe end 16-year win drought against Full Member". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Zimbabwe beat Sri Lanka by three wickets to win series". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Four reasons why this is a historic win for Zimbabwe". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  30. ^ "Raza stars in historic series win". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  31. ^ "Raza and Waller stretch Zimbabwe's lead to 262". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  32. ^ "Sri Lanka pull off highest successful chase in Asia". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  33. ^ "'Proud' Raza steps up as allrounder". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  34. ^ "Raza, Moor help Zimbabwe battle into fifth day". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  35. ^ "Cremer, Chakabva script Zimbabwe's great escape". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  36. ^ "10 stars to look out for at CWCQ". International Cricket Council. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  37. ^ "CWCQ Player of the Tournament: Sikandar Raza". Retrieved 11 September 2018.


External links

28 September 2019