Rashid Khan, the leg-spinner from Afghanistan, has been a major find in the Indian Premier League 2017. The 18-year-old, who is representing the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), has taken 11 wickets in the tournament so far and it was his performance in Friday evening's match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) that brought him his first man of the match award. He returned with impressive figures of 4-0-16-1 to help his side beat KXIP by 26 runs in Mohali.
Man of the match means a lot to me my family and my nation pic.twitter.com/1BNf1HEBqN— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) April 28, 2017
When Rashid and compatriot Mohammad Nabi were bought by Sunrisers at the auction, (Rs 4 crore and Rs 30 lakh, respectively), they immediately came under the spotlight as Afghanistan celebrated. And they are using that support and energy to get better and better in each match. "The whole of Afghanistan is watching this league (IPL). The way they are supporting us both, me and (Mohammed) Nabi, it is just amazing. The prayers of our people back home help me and whenever we have a game, they all pray for us," Rashid said on Friday night, who hails from the Nangarhar province. He dedicated the award to his brother.
Asked what his performance means for Afghanistan cricket, Rashid said, "It means a lot to them because coming to this stage and performing here is a very positive message for the people of Afghanistan." Also it sent a positive message to the youngsters back home "to work hard, do your best and you will achieve for which you have set your foot for".
Enjoying his maiden appearance at the IPL, Rashid is eager to give it his all and is thankful to be working with Muttiah Muralitharan. "He is the best spinner in the world. He has been helping and giving me all the confidence to just go out there and give my best."
(With PTI inputs)