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I Have Spent 25 Days at Home in The Past Five Years: Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan hopes his country will soon start hosting international teams (Reuters Photo)

Rashid Khan hopes his country will soon start hosting international teams (Reuters Photo)

Rashid Khan says not being able to celebrate his success with family hurts him.

Rashid Khan is one of the most popular names in cricket today. That a cricketer from Afghanistan will be the world’s top-ranked T20 bowler is a thought that wouldn’t have crossed the mind five years back when a 17-year-old Rashid made his international debut.

But today, the legspinners is one of the most sought after bowlers in T20 leagues across the globe and he’s repaid the faith of the teams with consistent performances. The globetrotting cricketer though has few regrets.

The biggest of them being not able to celebrate his achievements with his family in Afghanistan since he’s away playing cricket for the major part of a year.

“In the last five years I’ve spent about 25 days at home," Rashid told Guardian.co.uk. “I didn’t have that opportunity to celebrate my achievement with the family because I was just so busy. I forgot my achievements and that hurts sometimes. I don’t get enough time to be with the family but at the same time it is the start of my career so I have to struggle.”

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It seems odd to call someone a veteran at 22 years but Rashid is sort of in T20 cricket having played 266 matches in the format spread across IPL, BBL, PSL, CPL, Afghanistan and more.

Another fact that rankles him is that he’s yet to play international cricket at home with his countrymen cheering. The war-ravaged country is bracing for another round of uncertainty with USA’s impending exit and thus making it unlikely that playing international cricket will become reality in Afghanistan anytime soon

“Wherever I go I see international players playing at home in front of their crowds, getting the support, getting all the love; we so much want the same in our country. Our people, they love cricket, they love sport and the moment we have a series back home it will be massive. There will be no single spot to sit,” he said.

Rashid says West Indies cricket team is quite popular among the Afghans and should international cricket make its entry into the country, he would like to see them in action.

“It depends on the format. If you’re playing T20, definitely you will take West Indies. If you ask people back home, they are the biggest fans of West Indies cricket, they love all the big sixes,” he said.

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first published:July 18, 2021, 19:51 IST