Hazratullah Zazai Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah: Exciting all-rounder Hazratullah Zazai says he has a two-fold target before him — and one of these will, in all likelihood, be fulfilled this week.

The 20-year-old, who cracked an awesome 124 for his maiden T20 century in Kabul Zwanan’s emphatic seven-wicket win against the Nangarhar Leopards in Tuesday’s Afghanistan Premier League (APL) fixture, wants to meet his idol Chris Gayle.

“I want to just take a selfie with him [Gayle] as he and Hashim Amla are my heroes,” was the 20-year-old Zazai’s innocent reply after his match-winning performance on Tuesday.

Sent in to open alongside New Zealander Luke Ronchi, Zazai threw his bat around smashing nine sixes and a dozen fours as Kabul Zwanan made light work of a stiff target of 189 with 13 deliveries to spare.

“I think I have only just started,” he added. “I was pretty excited that the coach [Heath Streak] and captain [Rashid Khan] had the confidence to send me out there. I felt I had the right sort of momentum to play my natural game without any pressure and the shots came naturally.”

The next two big assignments before the international cricket fraternity are the ICC Cricket World Cup, in England from May 30 to July 14, and the ICC World Twenty20 in Australia from October 18 to November 15, 2020.

“Everyone wants to make their country proud and I am no different. I will try my best to make my way into the T20 and the one-day squads of Afghanistan. And I believe that the best way to do so is to stick to my natural game,” Zazai said.

Zazai, who made his T20 debut against the UAE in December 2016, is no newcomer to records. He also holds the distinction of scoring the fastest T20 half century by an Afghan cricketer when he had achieved that feat in 22 balls playing against Ireland in August this year.

“Yes, I definitely want to play in the other leagues as well. The IPL [Indian Premier League] looks like the first choice, but I will have to work hard and prove myself more to get there. So before that I will try with the BPL [Bangladesh Premier League] and the CPL [Caribbean Premier League] first,” Zazai added.