By Ezzatullah Mehrdad-Magic of Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s pride, continues in the world of cricket games, inspiring young Afghans to become athlete and champion.
Rashid Khan Arman, 19-year old Afghan cricketer, was born in the land of cricket lovers, his hometown is Nangarhar province. He was not raised in a wealthy family with multi-dollar bank account, but an average family that had this usual struggle to survive in the harsh condition of life in Afghanistan.
He was a child when the war pushedhis family to move to Peshawar, Pakistan, where Rashid Khan was destined to come back Afghanistan as cricketer who will inspire war-torn Afghanistan’s youths. Rashid Khan’s favorite hobby, cricket, turned out to a passion.He lost himself in Cricket and developed strong commitment toward his passion and kept playing cricket while he was at school.
Few years later, Rashid Khan’s family moved back to Afghanistan. He shined in the local games of cricket and known as Afghanistan’s Afridi [Afridi was top player of Pakistan’s cricket for years.]
He had his magic in his hand to play cricket well. In his teenage years, Rashid Khan sparked out as first-class player of cricket.He joined national cricket team of Afghanistan. After his 17th birthday, Rashid Khanmade his ODI debut on Afghanistan’s tour of Zimbabwe in October 2015. Just a year and a half later, Rashid Khan fetched the highest ever bid for an Associate player in the IPL Auction.
It took him a short time to move from a player to a captain. Rashid Khan was the captain of Afghanistan National Cricket Team during the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. At the age of 19 years and 165 days, he was named as the youngest player to captain an international team. Afghanistan’s legend became the youngest and fastest bowler in the final of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
The undeniable truth about his legacy made him as national pride of Afghanistan. For many Afghans it was unbelievable to see a legend from their own country and a legend that went through the same hardships most Afghans experience.
The world-class cricket player struggled throughevery setback Afghans face. Like the rest, he was not praised before he shined. He was not encouraged by a mentor. He had not special trainer, neither a special school to teach him how to bowl ball to score high in the national cricket game of Afghanistan. The legend reached to the top by hardworking, neither facility nor luck.
He is a self-made and self-invent legend. In a country where many people push talented Afghans to corner, Rashid Khan has reached to the top. He has proven it’s possible to have an Afghani legend in anything.
Rashid Khan is now a national role model for younger Afghans and a light in the darkness of Afghanistan’s crisis. Hopeless young Afghans are losing their lives in the way to the developed countries. The Afghan war sucks blood of young Afghans and requiresnew blood each day. But he kept fighting to chase his dreams in Afghanistan, nowhere else. His successful story inspires young Afghans to push forward regardless. It says there is a light at the end of tunnel and there is hope to become successful and world-class person.
Legacy of Afghanistan’s Rashid Khanhas gone beyond border and reached to the lands of cricket’s champion. It has been common for India, Australia and U.K. to claim they have the top players in cricket. But Rashid Khan has shined in front of stunned fans of cricket and played in India, Australia, Caribbean Islands and will play in U.K. He is showing it is also common for Afghanistan to have legends in Cricket.
In Feb. 2017, he was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad to play in Indian league. In the same year, he was bought by Guyana Amazon Warriors for $60,000.00 to play in Caribbean Premier League (CPL). In September 2017, he took a hat-trick for Guyana Amazon Warriors, the first hat-trick in the history of CPL.
In Sept. 2017, he signed with Adelaide Strikers to play in the 2017-2018 Big Bash League of Australia. Later, he went on and won the match. In Jan 2018, Rashid Khan was bought Sussex County Cricket Club to play in the NatWest t20 Blast in England.
Among countless praise and endorsement, Schin Tendulkar, the best player of cricket, praised him in a way nobody else did before: “I wouldn’t hesitate in saying Rashid Khan is the best spinner in the world in this format.”
The powerful and inspirational remark went viral on social media. As a result, Indians, in a twitter storm, ask the Indian government to give Rashid Khan Indian Citizenship. But the Afghan president called him “pride” of Afghanistan jokingly twitted “No way to give him away.”