Ikram Alikhil, born on 29 September 2000, is a cricketer from Afghanistan. He is a wicket-keeper-batsman who bats left-handed. He has played ODIs and has taken part in a solitary Test for Afghanistan so far. When he played in the 2019 ICC ODI World Cup, he became the 41st cricketer to play in a World Cup in his teens.
Afghanistan Under-19, Afghanistan, Speen Ghar Region, Amo Region, Amo Sharks, Band-e-Amir Dragons, Balkh Legends
Ikram Alikhil has played in first-class cricket and has represented his country in the Under-19 team as well. Aged 17, he made his T20 debut in the Shpageeza Cricket League in 2017. He helped Afghanistan lift the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup in 2017 with an unbeaten century in the finals.
Before playing for Afghanistan’s senior team as a 19-year old, Ikram Alikhil represented his county in two Under-19 World Cups and Under-19 Asia Cup. It was a matter of time before he got a chance to play in the senior team. The moment finally came in March 2019 when he was selected for the second ODI against Ireland to be played in Dehradun, India. He scored just 5 runs in the washed-out debut match, coming in to bat at number 9.
Ikram Alikhil was selected in the Afghanistan squad for the 2019 ICC ODI World Cup as a substitute for the injured Mohammad Shahzad. It was a tough job to replace Shehzad as the senior player was an important member of the team. In his first ODI World Cup match, as a teenager, Ikram Alikhil played against New Zealand in Taunton on 8 June 2019. He batted at number 8 and scored just 2 runs.
In the first 6 innings, 3 of those not out, Ikram Alikhil failed to score in double digits. His first double-digit score of 11 runs came against Bangladesh batting at 7. Some felt he was batting too low in the batting order. In the later stages of the World Cup 2019, he was promoted up the batting order and results followed immediately.
Against Pakistan, he batted at number 4 and scored 24 in a slightly low-scoring game. In the very next game, Afghanistan’s last one in the 2019 World Cup, Ikram Alikhil was promoted to number 3 in the batting order against the West Indies. It turned out to be the right decision. Coming in to bat in the second over, Ikram scored 86 off 93 deliveries chasing 312. He hit 8 fours along the way. When he got out, Afghanistan had a realistic chance of winning the game which they eventually lost by just 23 runs.
With the innings of 86 runs, Ikram became the cricketer with the highest score as an 18-year-old in the ODI World Cup, breaking the long-standing record of legendary Sachin Tendulkar who had scored 84 in the 1992 World Cup as an 18-year-old.
Overall, Ikram has played 10 ODIs for Afghanistan and has scored 243 runs at an average of 26. As a wicket-keeper, he has taken 3 catches and successfully executed 3 stumpings.