Rashid Khan eyes World Cup glory not wedding bells

Rashid Khan eyes World Cup glory not wedding bells

Rashid Khan insists that the World Cup is taking precedence over wedding bells as the leg-spin wizard looks to inspire Afghanistan at the Twenty20 global showpiece.
Rashid, who is still only 23, is crucial to his country’s hopes of a first-world title and a potential victory that would bring a rare bout of good news to his home country.
Rashid, on the other hand, told AFP that speculation about his personal life in the run-up to the tournament, which is currently taking place in Oman and the UAE, will not derail his ambitions.

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He denied saying, “I will marry when Afghanistan wins the World Cup.”

“To be honest, I was shocked when I heard this because I never made a statement that I will marry once I win the World Cup,” Rashid, whose family lives in Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan, said.

“I just said that I have more cricket and three World Cups coming up in the next few years (the Twenty20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022, as well as the 50-over World Cup in 2023) so my focus will be on cricket rather than getting married.”

Rashid, who made his Afghanistan debut at the age of 17, is one of the most in-demand players in international cricket.

He has already played 51 T20 international matches and over 280 games in the format for franchises all over the world.
A lucrative career has seen him play in England, Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, and, of course, the IPL in India, where he has been a regular for Sunrisers Hyderabad since 2017.
He has 95 T20 international wickets at an average of 12.63 and was named ICC Cricketer of the Decade in the format in 2020.

Spin will be critical on the Gulf’s low, slow wickets.

“I think it’ll be a spinners’ World Cup,” Rashid predicted.

‘Slower and slower’

“The wickets here are mostly very good for spinners, so I believe that’s why most teams have more spinners in their attack.”

With Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Chakravarthy, and Rahul Chahar, India has four slow bowlers in their 15-man squad, while England has Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, and Liam Livingstone.

The West Indies have Akeal Hosein, Hayden Walsh, and Roston Chase as their defending champions. Chris Gayle is also capable of turning his arm over.

Pakistan’s frontline spinners include Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, and Imad Wasim. Veterans Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik can also make changes to the ball.

Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, and Todd Astle represent New Zealand.

Australia will rely on Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, who have yet to win a T20 World Cup. Rashid is not Afghanistan’s only front-line spinner; Mujeeb Ur Rahman and skipper Mohammad Nabi are also available.

“What I noticed during the Indian Premier League (the final of which was also played in the UAE) was that the wickets were good, but there wasn’t a lot of spins,” Rashid said.

“However, I believe that as the World Cup progresses, we may see wickets that are a little different, and as you play on these tracks, they become slower and slower, and they will be useful for spinners.”

Rashid refused to pick a favourite for the World Cup, which is in its seventh year.

“Well, it’s T20, and anyone can beat anyone on the day,” said Rashid, who resigned as captain before the event due to not being consulted about squad selection.

“We have a good mix of experienced and young players, and most importantly, we have a few all-rounders, which makes the side very balanced, especially in T20 when you have more of that all-round option.”

Afghanistan is in Group 2 of the World Cup, along with India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and two qualifiers, in the Super 12 stage, which begins on Thursday.

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