Rashid Khan, the poster boy with plenty to offer

Rashid Khan’s rise is synonymous with the progress of Afghanistan cricket. The 20-year-old leg-spinner burst onto the international scene in October, 2015, and with his quick-arm action and accurate googlies left the cricket world charmed. Ahead of his maiden World Cup, Rashid is No. 1 in the list of ODI all-rounders and third in bowling rankings.

Since his debut, Rashid has made rapid strides. In 2017, as an 18-year-old he attracted the highest bid for an associate player in the IPL auction. He was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 4 crore. He reposed the trust by being among the top wicket-takers that IPL season. He later became the youngest male player to be on the top of T20s and ODIs rankings. In slower conditions, Rashid is tough to handle. His quick bowling through the air makes it difficult for the batsmen to read him. His googlies and wicket-to-wicket bowling can put in a bind the best in the business. It is much like his childhood hero, Shahid Afridi who can dare a batsman to come down to the pitch of the ball.

The youngster has participated in several leagues around the world, including the Caribbean Premier League where he took the first hat-trick for Guyana Amazon Warriors. He even finished as the joint-leading wicket-taker in the Big Bash League for Adelaide Strikers and helped them to their maiden BBL title.

Rashid is a good fielder in the deep. He is also handy with the bat, and capable of providing the crucial late thrusts in an innings. In him, Afghanistan has found the poster boy they needed to advertise sport in the strife-torn region. He is already the national T20 captain and an integral part of the leadership group. In fact, when asked to compare the 2015 World Cup with the current, an Afghanistan Cricket Board official said: “In 2015, we didn’t have Rashid Khan.”

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