Rashid Khan Career

image-lr8xj5siRashid Khan has been Afghanistan team's linchpin across formats (Instagram)

Afghanistan spinner, Rashid Khan has redefined the art of leg-spin bowling on the global stage. Born on September 20, 1998, in Nangarhar, Afghanistan, Rashid's incredible rise in the cricketing world is stuff of dreams.

This spinning sensation first made waves in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015, showcasing his mastery over a repertoire of deliveries that would soon become the dread of batsmen worldwide. With a beguiling mix of googlies, flippers, and sharp leg-breaks, Rashid spins a web around the crease, often leaving batters befuddled and spectators in awe.

Rashid's bowling is highlighted by its astounding accuracy and deceptive speed. Unlike traditional leg-spinners who rely on flight and turn, Rashid's approach is more aggressive, firing in quicker deliveries that skid off the pitch, making him a formidable opponent in the shortest format of the game. His arm speed, a crucial element of his bowling, adds to the mystery, making it challenging for batsmen to pick his variations.

Off the field, Rashid's journey is equally inspiring. Hailing from a war-torn country, his rise to cricketing stardom is a prime example of the unshakeable spirit of Afghan cricket. He's an ambassador of his nation, carrying the dreams and aspirations of millions on his young shoulders.

In the batting department, Rashid has also proven to be more than handy. His ability to hit clean and big under pressure makes him a valuable lower-order batsman, often providing crucial runs in tight situations. Here’s a look at the Rashid Khan Career in detail.

Early Years in Nangarhar

Rashid's journey began in 1998 in the rugged terrain of Nangarhar, a region in Eastern Afghanistan. His birthplace, soaked in history and culture, would later become the backdrop for the inception of his cricketing dreams.

A Childhood Amidst Adversity

Hailing from Jalalabad, Rashid was not alone in his early endeavours; he was one among eleven siblings. His early years, however, were marked by the tumult of war. In these challenging times, his family made a decision to seek refuge. They journeyed to Pakistan, seeking safety from the Afghan war. This period in Pakistan, spanning a few years, was a time of upheaval yet resilience for young Rashid and his family.

Return to Afghanistan

The Khan family eventually made the decision to return to their homeland. Back in Afghanistan, life resumed its normal pace, with Rashid rejoining school and reacquainting himself with his roots. It was during this time of resettling that Rashid's passion for cricket began to take shape.

The Cricketing Backyard

Rashid's introduction to cricket was familial and joyous. Playing with his brothers, he found not just a sport but a calling. These backyard matches were the forging ground of a future star. The camaraderie and competition with his siblings laid the foundation for his cricketing ethos.

Idolizing Legends

Two cricketing legends cast a long shadow over Rashid's formative years. Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi, known for his explosive play and charismatic personality, became an inspiration for Rashid. It was Afridi's unique bowling action that Rashid sought to emulate, mesmerized by his spin and speed. Equally influential was the South African maestro, AB de Villiers, whose batting brilliance captured young Rashid's imagination. These icons shaped Rashid's aspirations and style, moulding him into the cricketer he aspired to be.

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Rashid Khan T20I Career

The Beginning: T20I Debut Against Zimbabwe (October 26, 2015)

Rashid's journey in the T20I format commenced with his debut against Zimbabwe on October 26, 2015. This debut was the start of what would become a record-setting career in T20Is, establishing him as a key player in Afghanistan's bowling line-up.

Maiden T20I Five-Wicket Haul (March 10, 2017)

A significant milestone in Rashid's T20I career was achieved on March 10, 2017, in a match against Ireland. He recorded his first T20I five-wicket haul, taking five wickets for just three runs. This performance not only set the record for the best bowling performance by an Afghan in a T20I but also ranked as the joint fourth-best in all T20Is. Notably, Rashid became the first player to secure a five-wicket haul in just two overs in a T20I match.

Spectacular Hat-Trick Against Ireland (February 2019)

In February 2019, Rashid displayed his exceptional skills once again, this time achieving a remarkable hat-trick and taking four wickets in four consecutive balls against Ireland. This feat showcased his extraordinary skill and control in the T20 format.

ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of the Decade (November 2020)

Rashid's achievements in T20 cricket were globally recognized, leading to his nomination and subsequent win of the ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of the Decade award in November 2020.

Leadership Role: Captaincy of Afghanistan's T20I Team (July 2021)

Rashid's leadership skills came to the forefront when he was named the captain of Afghanistan's T20I team in July 2021. His captaincy, however, experienced a brief pause when he stepped down following the squad announcement for the T20 World Cup 2021, citing disagreements over team selection. Despite this setback, his performance on the field continued to be outstanding.

Milestone of 400 Wickets in Twenty20 Cricket (November 7, 2021)

Rashid achieved a significant milestone during the T20 World Cup match against New Zealand on November 7, 2021, by reaching 400 wickets in Twenty20 cricket. This achievement underscored his brilliance and consistency in the format.

Reinstatement as Captain (December 2022)

Rashid's captaincy was reinstated in December 2022, demonstrating the Afghan Cricket Board's continued confidence in his leadership abilities and cricketing skills.

Remarkable T20I Statistics

In his T20I career spanning 82 matches, Rashid has taken an impressive 130 wickets. His average of 14.80 shows his effectiveness and efficiency as a bowler. Rashid's economy rate of 6.16 in T20Is, in a format known for aggressive batting and high scores, is a remarkable achievement. The top of his T20I bowling feats is his record of 5 wickets for just 3 runs against Ireland.

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Rashid Khan ODI Career

The Beginning: ODI Debut Against Zimbabwe (October 18, 2015)

Rashid's foray into ODIs began on October 18, 2015, against Zimbabwe. This marked the start of an illustrious journey in the 50-over format, filled with remarkable milestones and extraordinary performances.

Historical Performance Against Ireland

A significant highlight early in Rashid's ODI career was during a series against Ireland. In this series, he and Ireland's Paul Stirling made history by becoming the first duo from opposing teams to each take six wickets in the same ODI.

Record-Breaking Bowling Against West Indies (June 9, 2017)

One of Rashid's most defining moments came against the West Indies at Gros Islet on June 9, 2017. He took an incredible 7 wickets for just 18 runs, securing the fourth-best bowling figures in ODI history and setting a precedent as the first cricketer from an associate nation to take seven wickets in an ODI. His crucial role helped Afghanistan defend a total of 212, leading to a 63-run victory and earning him the Man of the Match award.

Recognized as ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year (2017)

In recognition of his contributions, Rashid was named the ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year in 2017. His leadership skills were also highlighted when he served as the stand-in captain for Afghanistan in the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. He is also the fastest bowler to 100 ODI wickets (44 matches).

Crucial Role in ICC World Cup 2019

Rashid was a key figure in Afghanistan's team during the ICC World Cup 2019. Despite facing challenges, including a tough spell against England, his resilience and skill were evident as he picked six wickets in nine matches.

Impactful Performance in ICC World Cup 2023

In the ICC World Cup 2023, Rashid played a vital role in Afghanistan's impressive campaign, which included notable victories over teams like England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. He participated in nine matches, taking 11 wickets. Despite an average of 35.27 in the tournament, higher than his overall ODI average, Rashid's ability to claim crucial wickets remained clear. His tournament economy rate of 4.48 was also a key factor in his team's performances.

Overall ODI Achievements

Throughout his ODI career, Rashid has played 103 matches, taking 183 wickets. He stands out with a remarkable bowling average of 20.48, demonstrating his consistent ability to take wickets at critical moments. His ODI economy rate of 4.24 along with his best figures of 7 for 18 against West Indies, underscores his exceptional talent and places him among the elite bowlers in ODI cricket history.

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Rashid Khan Test Career

The Inaugural Test Against India (June 2018)

Rashid's entry into Test cricket commenced with Afghanistan's inaugural Test match against India in June 2018. In this debut Test, Rashid faced a tough initiation, conceding 154 runs, which set a record for the highest number of runs conceded by a bowler in a team's first Test match. This experience was crucial for Rashid, highlighting the unique challenges and demands of Test cricket.

First Afghan Bowler to Claim a Five-Wicket Haul in Test Cricket (February 2019)

Rashid's growth in Test cricket was evident when he was named in Afghanistan's squad for the one-off Test against Ireland in February 2019. He adapted impressively to the longer format, taking five wickets for 82 runs in the second innings. This achievement marked him as the first Afghan bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Test cricket, showcasing his versatility across formats.

Leadership and Historic Performance as Captain (September 2019)

Rashid's leadership qualities were recognized when he was appointed captain of the Afghanistan team across all formats following the ICC World Cup 2023. His first Test as captain was against Bangladesh in September 2019, which Afghanistan won by 224 runs. 

In this match, Rashid accomplished a remarkable feat by scoring a fifty and taking a ten-wicket haul in his captaincy debut in a Test match, making him the first cricketer to achieve this in a Test. This performance underlined not only his all-round abilities but also his capacity to lead and motivate his team in the most challenging form of cricket.

Impressive Test Statistics

Throughout his Test career, Rashid has played in five matches, taking a total of 34 wickets. His bowling average of 22.35 is proof of his consistent wicket-taking ability in Test cricket. Moreover, Rashid's economy rate of 2.97 in Tests is commendable, especially considering the extended periods of bowling and the discipline required in the format. His best bowling figures in Test cricket, 7/137 against Zimbabwe, highlight his exceptional bowling skills.

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Rashid Khan IPL Career

Beginning of the IPL Journey: A Landmark for Afghan Cricket (February 2017)

Rashid's entry into the IPL in February 2017 marked a significant milestone both for his career and Afghan cricket. He was purchased by Sunrisers Hyderabad for ₹4 Crores, becoming one of the first two Afghan players ever to be selected for the IPL, a momentous occasion for the cricketing community in Afghanistan.

IPL Debut and Immediate Impact (2017)

Rashid made his IPL debut in the opening fixture of the 2017 tournament. Displaying his burgeoning talent, he took two wickets and played a crucial role in Sunrisers Hyderabad's 35-run victory. His debut season in the IPL was nothing short of remarkable, as he emerged as the sixth-highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets in just 14 matches.

Milestones and Consistent Performances (2018)

In the IPL 2018 season, Rashid achieved the personal milestone of playing in his 100th Twenty20 match on May 5, 2018. He delivered an all-round performance in this match, taking two wickets and affecting a run-out, and was deservedly named the Man of the Match. His consistent and impactful performances made him an integral part of Sunrisers Hyderabad until 2021.

A New Chapter with Gujarat Titans (2022)

Ahead of the IPL 2022 season, Rashid embarked on a new chapter in his IPL career as he was acquired by the Gujarat Titans. In March 2022, he played a pivotal role as the team's vice-captain, bringing his vast experience and skill set to the new franchise. His leadership and performances were key factors in the team's success which saw them lift the title.

Hat-Trick Highlight in the 2023 Season

A significant highlight of Rashid's IPL career occurred during the 2023 season. On April 9, 2023, in a match against Kolkata Knight Riders, Rashid delivered an exceptional bowling performance, claiming a hat-trick with figures of 3 for 37. This feat further solidified his reputation as an elite bowler in the IPL.

Retained by Gujarat Titans for IPL 2024

Looking forward to the IPL 2024 season, Rashid was retained by Gujarat Titans, reflecting the franchise's faith in his abilities and his crucial role in the team.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Rashid Khan Career

Q.1. When did Rashid Khan make his international debut?

Answer: Rashid Khan made his international debut for Afghanistan in October 2015.

Q.2. What is Rashid Khan's best performance in T20 Internationals?

Answer: Rashid Khan’s best performance in T20Is is taking 5 wickets for just 3 runs against Ireland in 2017.

Q.3. How many wickets did Rashid Khan take in his first IPL season?

Answer: Rashid Khan took 17 wickets in 14 matches during his first IPL season in 2017.

Q.4. What record did Rashid Khan set in Afghanistan's inaugural Test match?

Answer: Rashid Khan set the record for the highest number of runs conceded by a bowler in a country's inaugural Test match.

Q.5. Does Rashid Khan have a hat-trick in the IPL?

Answer: Yes, Rashid Khan took a hat-trick in the IPL on April 9, 2023, playing for Gujarat Titans against Kolkata Knight Riders.