Rashid Khan is Afghanistan’s original spin king, but Mujeeb Ur Rahman has emerged as a rising star poised to make an immediate impact at the Twenty20 World Cup.
On Monday, the 20-year-old baffled the Scotland batters with his mystery spin, returning T20 best figures of 5-20 in Afghanistan’s 130-run thrashing of Scotland in Sharjah.
Mujeeb bowls off-spin, leg-spin, and the googly with equal finesse and has 30 wickets in 20 matches in the shortest format of the game since making his debut as a 16-year-old in February 2018.
“Congratulations to our country, and it’s my first player of the match award in a World Cup,” he said.
Mujeeb, who played his first T20 World Cup match, addressed his countrymen who had been cheering on their team despite the new Taliban regime. “The people who were here to support us gave me a lot of positive energy.” Fans have been very supportive of us, which is one of the reasons we’ve performed well.”
Afghanistan cricket has overcome adversity, including the possibility of being barred from the tournament if the Taliban discontinues the women’s game.
The players, on the other hand, have put aside the turmoil to focus on the T20 World Cup, with skipper Mohammad Nabi claiming that we are “well prepared.”Mujeeb, who comes from a humble family in the war-torn region’s Khost city, rattled Scotland’s top and middle orders, taking three wickets in his first over, including two in consecutive deliveries.
Mujeeb’s heroics – 4 for 14 in three overs – had already reduced the Scots to 37-5 by the time senior spinner Rashid entered the attack in the seventh over of the Scotland chase.
He bowled three googlies — a deceptive delivery that pitches and spins into a right-handed batsman — to send Scotland’s captain Kyle Coetzer, Calum MacLeod, and Richie Berrington back to the pavilion.
Rashid took four wickets as the spin duo combined for nine, and Nabi stated, “The world knows we have some good spinners in Rashid and Mujeeb.”
SPIN WARNING: MUJEEB BAGS FIVE AS AFGHANISTAN CRUSH SCOTLAND BY 130 RUNS
Former Afghanistan coach Andy Moles described Mujeeb as a “complete package,” and the youngster lived up to the praise with outstanding performances at the Under-19 level.
Mujeeb took five wickets in Afghanistan’s historic victory at the Under-19 Asia Cup, which they won over Pakistan in the final.
He finished the tournament with a total of 20 wickets in five games.
Mujeeb got his big break in the lucrative Indian Premier League in 2018 when Kings XI Punjab — now Punjab Kings — paid $630,000 for him.
In June 2018, he took part in Afghanistan’s first-ever Test match against India. It was also his first-class debut in this match.
The same year, Hampshire signed Mujeeb for the T20 Blast alongside New Zealand’s Colin Munro.
“He’s a magician, Mujeeb.” He knows every trick in the book. Young man, you are truly remarkable. “He has every ball you can think of,” a Hampshire teammate said.
Mujeeb recently competed for the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred.