Afghanistan has proven themselves to be no minnows as evident from their performance in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2018, where they defeated Sri Lanka and tied a game with eventual champions India.
Even Pakistan escaped in a last over win only because of Shoaib Malik’s expertise. One of the outstanding players from Afghanistan has been 17-year-old off break bowler Mujeeb Ur Rahman. He opened the bowling for his team and took 7 wickets.
“It’s been an enjoyable time for me so far in my career where I have played a lot of international cricket at such a young age. The experience of playing against some of the top teams in the world like India and Pakistan has been amazing and I have learned that a lot of hard work is needed to play in the international arena. I hope I can continue doing this and serve my country in the best way possible in the future,” he said.
Talking about his Asia Cup 2018 experience, Mujeeb said, “I had the honor and privilege to play against some top-quality players in the Asia Cup, but I will always remember playing against MS Dhoni in front of a packed house in Dubai. Whilst it was disappointing to not get a wicket in the Super-4 clash against India, the thrill of playing against a team with someone of MS Dhoni’s class was something I will always remember.”
Mujeeb was also part of the Afghan playing XI which featured in the country’s first ever Test match against India in June this year in Bangalore.
He says about the feeling of playing Tests, “We played one Test match against India and that didn’t go too well for us, although it was a great experience to play in the long format of the game. For me, moving from white-ball to the red-ball format wasn’t that easy as I have not played this form of cricket before and I did find it tough. However, it was a great learning experience for all of us and in the future, if given the opportunity, we hope to do better in Test matches in the same way we have done in the shorter formats of the game.”
One of the most devastating bowlers in T20 cricket, Mujeeb has already been part of Afghanistan Premier League, the Indian Premier League and will now feature in the upcoming season of Big Bash League in Australia.
He says, “As an Afghanistan player, I cannot express in words how happy I was to take part in this first edition of the APL. With the other Afghan players, we took part in this league alongside some top overseas players so there was a lot to learn from them as well. Before the APL, our players were playing in other foreign leagues such as the IPL and CPL which was great for our experience but now we took part in our own Twenty20 league which does fill us with a lot of pride and satisfaction.”
He further said, “I am really looking forward to playing in the BBL for Brisbane Heat as that is another top-quality team which takes part in a well-respected and high-profile league. I am sure that this will really help me grow as a cricketer and get Afghanistan cricket further on the international map. I am also hoping that my experience from playing the APL is something that will really help me do better in the BBL and I will be able to demonstrate my skills to the audiences in Australia and around the world. It's also an opportunity to be an ambassador globally for my very proud nation.”