The 19-year-old Afghanistan spin-bowler, Rashid Khan, joined India’s Jasprit Bumrah to become the youngest bowler to top the ICC rankings in world cricket (ODI). Historically, it is India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who have been continuously producing some of the best spinners in the world. However, the Afridis, Muralitharans, and Anil Kumbles now have stiff competition from Afghanistan spinners, off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran and leg-spinner Rashid Khan.
Afghanistan: a new entrant in World Cricket
The war-torn nation of Afghanistan has been playing cricket since the mid-19th century, however, it was only less than an year ago, that the country has made waves in world cricket after it was granted the status of a full ICC member, along with Ireland in 2017.
In the recently-concluded 5-match ODI series which was held in UAE, Afghanistan recently hammered Zimbabwe 4-1, with the two spin-bowlers – Mujeeb Zadran and Rashid Khan – playing the lead roles for their team.
Rashid Khan joins Jasprit Bumrah as youngest to top ICC rankings
In the 5-match ODI series, Afghanistan prodigy Rashid Khan ended up as the highest wicket-taker with 16 wickets, at an average of 7.93 and best bowling figures of 5/24.
On Tuesday (20 February), Rashid Khan reached 787 points in ICC ODI rankings for his excellent performance against Zimbabwe, and became the youngest bowler to top the ICC rankings. The Afghanistan spin-bowling prodigy joined India pacer Jasprit Bumrah (787) at the top of the ICC ODI rankings for bowlers to become the youngest to attain top ranking.
Rashid Khan, a bowler or an all-rounder?
Rashid Khan also scored 51 runs in two innings in the series against Zimbabwe, which included a breezy 43 in the final match in Sharjah on Monday. His performance with the bat helped the 19-year-old to land into the top-five ICC ODI rankings for all-rounders. Apart from the 4th rank as an all-rounder in ICC ODI rankings, and 2nd rank in ICC ODI rankings for bowling, Rashid also jumped up 11 spots to take 114th place among batsmen.
Overall, the Afghanistan bowling prodigy has registered 86 wickets in 37 ODIs, which makes him the most successful bowler in the 50-over format, going by his career of 27 matches so far. Rashid has found himself ahead of some bowling greats like; Saqlain Mushtaq (73), Mitchell Starc (73), Ajantha Mendis (72) and Shane Bond (71).
Rashid Khan to feature in IPL 2018 for SRH
The Sunriser Hyderabad bought Rashid for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League, and the Afghanistan prodigy will be featuring among the cricketing veterans from India and all over the world, in the fast-approaching 11th season of the Indian premier League (IPL 2018).