Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan grabbed headlines when he was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 10th Indian Premier league (IPL). Although Afghanistan is busy slugging out with Ireland at their adopted home ground in Greater Noida, Rashid has already made his plans for the T20 extravaganza.
From a base price of Rs 30 lakh, Nabi was bought for Rs 4 crore by the Sunrisers. But it isn’t the money that he is excited about. The 18-year-old leggie has already started to get goosebumps with just a thought of sharing the dressing room with the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan in the SRH camp and rubbing the shoulders with a galaxy of international stars who will all descend for the IPL.
“IPL is the biggest league in the world, much bigger than playing associate cricket. I have started working harder ever since the IPL auction. It feels unreal that I will be sharing the dressing room with the players, I have grown up watching on television,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
“I have been a huge Yuvraj fan since childhood. I really like his aggressive style. Hopefully, I will get to spend time with him and get an insight into his cricketing knowledge.
“It will also be very special to be with support staff comprising former players like Tom Moody, VVS Laxman and Muttiah Muralitharan. I spoke to Moody sir after the auction. He welcomed me into the squad,” he added.
Rashid and his teammate Mohammad Nabi will be the first Afghanis to play in the IPL after being picked up in the IPL player auction by Sunrisers Hyderabad last month.
Rashid is working hard to make his IPL debut season a memorable one. “A lot has happened over the last three months. It has been enjoyable,” said Rashid, who took to cricket after watching Afghanistan play their first World T20 in 2010.
Earlier this month, Rashid and Nabi claimed another first after being snapped up in the CPL auction, for $60,000 and $90,000 respectively.
Known to fox the batsmen with his googly and accurate quicker ones, Rashid has modelled himself on Pakistan star Shahid Afridi.
Rashid was only hoping to get picked in the IPL, the price tag didn’t matter. “I thought if a bowler like Imran Tahir went unsold, I had no chance. But then luck was on my side and the bidding ended where no one would have thought.
“We (Afghan cricketers) were just hoping to get into IPL to be honest. The price tag was not in our minds at all. It is also great that Nabi will get to play for the same franchise,” he said.