Rashid Khan was just 17-year-old when he received a callup up the Afghanistan national set-up and was sent to the Zimbabwe tour in 2015. The team was scheduled to play 5 ODIs and 2 T20Is on that tour.
It was after Afghanistan’s loss in the opening game that former Pakistan skipper and the team’s then coach Inzamam-ul-Haq spotted the unavoidable shine in Rashid Khan’s bowling.
During a net session Inzamam asked Rashid, “Where were you?”
A very young Rashid innocently said that he was in Afghanistan and only later realised what the Pakistan legend was asking.
According to Rashid, he told the former World Cup winner that people labelled him as a T20 bowler, who was not suitable for ODIs. That reportedly made Inzamam angry to an extent and he told the young kid that he was wasting his time and also promised Rashid saying,
“Until I am the coach you will be in my team, I am here for 2-3 years and you will be main player and be the 1st one to be picked in the team.”
Recalling the whole incident, Rashid Khan added that it’s like a dream come true for him to be standing tall as the number 1 T20I bowler in the world.
Speaking on BBC podcast ‘The Doosra’ Rashid Khan also opinioned on the most destructive T20I batsman. The 21-year-old bowler refrained from picking just one name, but ended up lauding the West Indies batting unit in the shortest format.
“West Indies players, they are so dangerous. Even their miss-hit goes for boundary. Hardik Pandya also, the way he hits unbelievable. They are dangerous in T20Is,” Rashid said.
Rashid added that he doesnt focus too much on the batsman but instead on the ground and the boundary. According to the star spinner, the grounds and boundaries are small these days and it gets tough for the bowlers.
Speaking on the ongoing crisis, Rashid said he was ‘missing cricket’.
“It is very tough for me, you don’t know what to do, nothing is moving on. I am missing cricket, last 5 years I have played in different countries with different people, have planned according to the leagues. My Mom told ‘I am so bored, there is no cricket on TV’. She began watching cricket ever since I started playing. She said she would have been watching me play in IPL right now if everything was good,” he said.
Rashid Khan is currently spending time in quarantine at home in Kabul and playing indoor cricket with his loved ones. The star spinner, who has 245 international wickets to his name, said that he was having enough place at his home for leg-spin bowling with proper run-up.
“We play 5-over matches. We get divided in 2 teams of 2 players each and so there is pressure of scoring runs too. A match-like situation is created. Few of my brothers are stuck in lockdown at different homes, current I have my 3 nephews and 3 brothers to play with. When the things get fine, we all can unite and play like when we used to in our childhood days,” he concluded.