Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi on Monday conferred the rank of honorary lieutenant in the Pakistan Navy on Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman.

Zaman, an ex-Pakistan Navy serviceman, was honoured for his achievements in the cricket arena and association with the navy at a special epaulette award ceremony held at the Naval Headquarters, a statement issued by the Pakistan Navy said.

Having joined the navy in 2007 as a sailor in the Operations Branch, Zaman’s excellent cricket talent was spotted during his early years in service, and he went on to represent the Pakistan Navy in many tournaments. His performance in the game remained exceptional and he earned numerous laurels for the navy, according to the press release.

Zaman’s international debut was in 2012 while he was serving in the navy, when he participated in the International Defence Cricket Challenge Cup 2012 held in Australia and was declared best player of the tournament. In recognition of his cricketing skills, he was rewarded with Sanad-e-Tahseen by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).

In view of his skills and extraordinary talent, the Pakistan Navy “graciously provided him the opportunity to continue his career in cricket” and join the Pakistan national cricket squad, the statement said.

His major career achievements to date include a match-winning century against India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, in which he was declared the Man of the Match. He also became the fastest player to score 1,000 runs in just 18 one-day internationals in the year 2018.

Zaman became the first Pakistani to score a double century in an ODI and had a record opening partnership of 304 runs in 2018. He also made a world record by amassing 512 runs in five consecutive ODI series. In the National T20 Cup 2020, he was declared the best player and batsman.

In his address at the ceremony, Admiral Niazi congratulated Zaman for his achievements for Pakistan in the field of cricket. He underscored that the Pakistan Navy had been supporting various sports and had produced a number of professional players who represented the country.

The award ceremony was attended by civil and military officials, and dignitaries from the Pakistan Cricket Board. Former cricket players and Zaman’s family members were also present.