Match 5 of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 featured a clash between India and Nepal in Kandy. Throughout the game, there were many moments to cherish, from Nepal’s forthright top-order to team India winning the clash and progressing into the Super Four.
However, despite the loss, it was a day to remember for Nepal’s wicketkeeper-batter Aasif Sheikh. The 22-year-old etched his name in history as he became the first player from Nepal in history to score a half-century against India.
Scoring 58 runs in 97 deliveries, Sheikh was crucial for his side in posting 230 runs in 48.2 overs in the first innings. He formed a formidable partnership with Kushal Bhurtel and helped Nepal post a fighting total on the board.
Sheikh has had quite the career trajectory and his contribution to cricket in Nepal is second-to-none. He began his career with the U-19 squad at the 2018 Quadrangular Cricket Tournament in India and even led the side in the 2018 ACC Asia Cup.
Being the underdogs, very few expected Nepal to play with so much heart against the Indian team, but from winning the Everest Premier League (WPL) to his brilliance against India, Sheikh is here to stay.
One of the biggest achievements of his career is winning the 2022 ICC Spirit of Cricket Award. Sheikh was honoured for his act of not dismissing Andy McBrine in the sixth match of the Quadrangular series in Oman on 14 February 2022 between Nepal and Ireland, as the batter tripped while running between the wickets. Sheikh won the 2022 ICC Spirit of Cricket Award for displaying brilliant sportsmanship.
A heart-warming #SpiritOfCricket moment from Nepal’s wicket-keeper Aasif Sheikh 👏
— ICC (@ICC) February 16, 2022
It is also worth noting that the 22-year-old has played 43 ODIs for Nepal so far, where he has amassed 1250 runs to his name, averaging 31.25 runs with one century and 10 half-centuries. Sheikh’s performances as of late could be an example for every budding cricketer in Nepal. A testament to true resiliency and hard work, he stamped his authority over world cricket with his brilliant showing against the Indian team.