Afghanistan's Ikram Ali Khil broke the legendary Sachin Tendulkar's record of the highest score by an 18-year-old in the World Cup and though he is proud of bettering the Indian icon's feat, it is Kumar Sangakkara that he wants to emulate in his career. Ikram's 86 off 92 balls against the West Indies on Thursday saw him move ahead of Tendulkar, who scored 84 as an 18-year-old against New Zealand in the 1992 World Cup.
"I'm very proud to have broken the record of a legend like Tendulkar. It makes me very happy," said the wicket-keeper batsman.
But Ikram was candid enough to admit that it is not Tendulkar but fellow left-handed batsman Sangakkara who he admires as a role model.
"Kumar Sangakkara is always in mind and my thoughts when I am batting out there," said Ikram, who is yet to meet the Sri Lankan great.
"His (Sangakkara) ability to rotate strike and find a boundary when needed, that is what made him a world class batsman. That is what I try to copy as much as I can."
But unfortunately, Ikram's knock came in a losing cause as Afghanistan lost by 23 runs against West Indies. Ikram's 86, however, became the top score by an Afghan batsman in this World Cup.
"I'm very happy that I scored 86 runs which was the top score for Afghanistan, said Ikram, who was part of the Afghanistan team that reached the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup last year.
"No one had crossed that mark in nine games but I'm disappointed at the same time because I thought I could score a hundred. Hopefully in the games ahead I will score a hundred for Afghanistan."