I don’t copy Gayle, says Zazai


Dhaka Dynamites’ Afghan recruit Hazratullah Zazai on Tuesday said that he didn’t copy his cricketing idol Chris Gayle despite him already becoming one of the powerful hitters in world cricket just like the Caribbean legend.
Zazai, who is still in the early days of his cricket career, showed his sheer muscle power and ability of hitting sixes at will, by scoring back-to-back fifties in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.
The 20-year old, who was playing his maiden BPL, hit 78 off 41 balls in the opening match against Rajshahi Kings and followed it up with 57 off 36 balls against Khulna Titans on Tuesday.
With Gayle missing the first two matches for his side Rangpur Riders due to the absence of a valid no-objection certificate, Zazai quenched the thirst of cricket lovers with his entertaining batting.
After his onslaught in the opening match, Zazai revealed he idolised Gayle’s cricketing style and philosophy but insisted on Tuesday that he was still distinctly a different batsman.
‘I just like him [Gayle]. I don’t copy his shots,’ Zazai told reporters after Dhaka’s crushing 105-run win over Khulna.
In his short career, Zazai broke several records, which already made him one of the hottest properties in franchise-based Twenty20 cricket across the globe.
During the Afghanistan Premier League last year, he became one of only four cricketers after Yuvraj Singh, Alex Hales and Ross Whiteley to smash six sixes in an over of a Twenty20 game.
The southpaw smashed fifty off 12 balls in the same APL game – becoming the joint quickest fifty-maker in Twenty20 format alongside Yuvraj and Gayle. The Afghan youngster already scored 135 runs in two matches that made him the leading run-scorer in the ongoing edition of BPL, where he struck as many as 12 sixes.
Zazai revealed that he was not sure about his spot in Dhaka team in their opening match.
‘I didn’t think that I would play the first match. Then the coach [Khaled Mahmud] told me you will play in the first match and that time I became really excited,’ he said.
‘The team includes Bell [Ian], Pollard [Kieron], Russell [Andre] and Narine [Sunil] and when I heard about my playing I became so happy,’ he added. Zazai grabbed his opportunity with both hands, which now made him a certain starter in Dhaka’s next few matches.