Rashid Khan names Sachin Tendulkar, Afridi & Kumble his teenage heroes

Rashid Khan

For leg-spinner Rashid Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Shahid Afridi and Anil Kumble were cricket heroes when Afghanistan was yet to carve their own identity at the international level. Rashid made his debut for the Afghans back in 2015 and has made a name for himself across formats. The 23-year-old has already picked up over 600 wickets with 15 five-wicket hauls.

Even as his wily spin-bowling has mostly hogged the limelight, Rashid has used the long handle to good effect as well. Known as a power-hitter, Rashid has smashed six half-centuries for Afghanistan with a top score of an unbeaten 70. The leggie said that during the days when he used to watch Tendulkar, he shifted from being a grafter to a power-hitter.

When I meet them, it is more than a dream, says Rashid Khan

Batting-wise, I always loved watching Sachin Tendulkar. [Back then] I wasn’t the kind of player with a mindset of hitting sixes. I loved playing down the ground, singles, boundaries. I don’t know how and why I changed my mind to now mainly focusing on hitting sixes,” Rashid told Cricket Monthly.

Rashid also said he watches YouTube videos of Shahid Afridi and Anil Kumble, who both used to be quick through the air and didn’t give the ball much air. Rashid is also a bowler, who prefers beating the batters with pace and doesn’t believe in flighting the ball a lot.

[Bowling-wise], definitely Shahid Afridi and Anil Kumble. Even at home, playing against my brothers, I was bowling quicker leg-spin [like Afridi and Kumble]. I loved watching them on TV. I still watch videos [of them] on YouTube – there are so many things I learned from them and still do,” he stated.

I used to dream about these three players and imagine being them. We didn’t have a proper Afghanistan team back then and there were no hopes for us to be international cricketers, so watching them was great. And now when I meet them, it is more than a dream,” Rashid added.

Rashid is currently in the UAE, taking part in the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup. The Afghans are playing the warm-up matches before their Super 12 matches get underway.