Rashid Khan Arman
September 20, 1998, Nangarhar
Right hand bat
Less than a month after his 17th birthday, Rashid Khan made his ODI debut on Afghanistan's tour of Zimbabwe in October 2015. A year and a half later, while back on tour in Zimbabwe in February 2017, the precocious legspinner fetched the highest ever bid for an Associate player in the IPL Auction. He was snapped up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 4 crores (US$ 597,000).
In the intervening time, Rashid quickly established himself as an automatic pick for Afghanistan. Not a big turner of the ball, he puts batsmen under constant pressure by bowling quickly through the air, akin to his bowling idol Shahid Afridi, while maintaining a stump-to-stump line. His biggest weapon is a very accurate googly, and should it result in a wicket, don't be surprised if he borrows Afridi's signature "Star man" celebration.
Rashid is also an athletic fielder, often placed in the covers, a region of high traffic in one-day cricket. With bat in hand, he is more than capable of clearing the boundary late in an innings and has air-brushed many a middling total into a match-winning one for his team.
Domestically, Rashid has been a productive force for the Kabul Eagles franchise. He parlayed his success from a superb first season with Sunrisers into franchise deals with Guyana Amazon Warriors - with whom he claimed the CPL's first ever hat-trick in 2017 - and Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash. He continued scaling new heights for Afghanistan as well, taking 5 for 3 in a T20I against Ireland to keep a record 11-match T20I winning streak alive and later in 2017 helped spin his country to victory over West Indies in their maiden ODI in the Caribbean with figures of 7 for 18, the fourth-best haul for anyone in ODI cricket. It all added up to Rashid being honoured as the 2017 ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year.
In January 2018, Rashid's status as a global superstar was cemented when he became Afghanistan's first IPL millionaire after Sunrisers reclaimed him at auction for INR 9 crores (US$ 1.4 million). Rashid's charisma has turned him into a crowd favourite at every stop. After showcasing his dominance in franchise leagues and against Associate competition, Afghanistan's promotion to Full Membership and entry into Test cricket is an opportunity for Rashid to demonstrate his ability to be a transcendent figure across all formats.
Peter Della Penna
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