Mumbai, June 15: Rashid Khan, the 19-year-old wonder from Afghanistan, has impressed many with his scintillating bowling performances in the last couple of years. The leg-spinner, who became the youngest bowler in cricket history to attain the number 1 in One Day International (ODI) rankings, seemed quite candid in his latest interview with Gaurav Kapur – the host of a favorite web series show ‘Breakfast With Champions.’
Rashid said that he was never a bowler at a young age and was more of a batsman than a bowler. He said, “I was never interested in bowling. I was a batsman and used to open the innings. I was good at it and used to score runs too; also, I was a part-time leg-spinner. However, after some time my friends told me that I am better at bowling.”
In this candid interview, he reveals what behind the scenes of him being a bowler today and not a batsman. Rashid said, “In the domestic cricket, I used to come down at 8th or 9th position and was asked to focus on my bowling. The coach told me that you could either bowl or you can bat. When asked if I can’t do both, I was outrightly said no.”
He added, “They said, if you want to bat, you can open the innings but then will not be able to bowl. Or if you want to bowl, then you can’t bat higher in the batting line-up. We had a (domestic cricket) tournament in Afghanistan then. In those three domestic games, I took 21 wickets. The rest they say is history!”
Talking about his family members, Rashid said how his nephews would come home to see him when he returned from a tour. He said, “They narrate stories to me and how I had performed in those matches. I feel good hearing those. Also, they make me stay up late till 4 and 5 in the morning and then demand to have pizzas, so late in the night.” Rashid Khan Becomes Fastest Bowler to Pick 100 ODI Wickets, Beats Mitchell Starc’s Record.
Shedding light on how his family adapts with his busy international schedule and how his family manages his arrival and departure, Rashid said that his house (family members) used to become silent in the last few days when he was about to leave on another assignment. He said, “I don’t tell anybody that I am about to leave on that following date. It is only on the day of departure while having breakfast; I break the news. If I talk about me leaving them beforehand, my mother will not be able to sleep all the night, and the house becomes a quiet place in the last few days.” Rashid Khan from Afghanistan Becomes Youngest Captain in Cricket: List of Youngest Skippers in All Formats of International Cricket.
The young spin sensation also revealed that his family always wanted him to be a doctor. Not just that, but he wanted to be a doctor himself. He said, “My mom wanted me to become a doctor as there’s no doctor in our family. I was an excellent student in Grade 9-10. I used to come in Top 5. I wanted to be a doctor then as I was very interested in studies at that time.”
The 19-year-old who earned rousing applause for his impeccable performances in the last two seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL) also talked about his experience with cricket’s most glamorous league. He said, “I could not believe myself about being bought by Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH). It was 6 am in the morning, and I was in Zimbabwe at that time. I was baffled about my selection (auction), and that too, when I was chosen over Imran Tahir, who was the number 1 ranked T20 bowler at that time.”
Talking about his first match in the IPL, he said, “I was constantly looking at the crowd for two whole minutes (during my first IPL game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore) and with my mind boggled, I said to myself – THIS IS IPL! I couldn’t hear anything at that point in time and was blank!”
Watch Rashid Khan’s Latest Interview where he Talks about his Journey in Cricket So Far!
Rashid Khan has become a fan’s favorite across the globe. In little over a year after he was selected for his national side, Rashid has already played for Adelaide Strikers, Band-e-Amir Dragons, Comilla Victorians, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kabul Eagles, Quetta Gladiators, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. With age on his side and the unmatched talent that he possesses, Rashid Khan has a lot to conquer in the game of cricket. It will be interesting to see what heights does this young bowler from Afghanistan scales during his cricketing career!