The date of 18th March, 2019 will be remembered as a historic and memorable day in the Afghanistan cricket history. On Monday, the proxy host Afghanistan team scripted history, defeating Ireland by 7 wickets in the one-off Test match in Dehradun. Afghanistan batsman Rahmat Shah was the star performer of the Test match as he compiled remarkable knocks in both the innings. Leg-spinner Rashid Khan also bowled a brilliant spell in the second innings, picking up his maiden five-wicket haul in the longest format of the game. After a disappointing performance on Test debut against India, the Asghar Afghan-led Afghanistan team has made a fighting comeback to secure their maiden Test match victory.
We have the talent and skills
The Afghanistan recorded some sensational performances in 50-overs Asia Cup edition in 2018, where they went on to defeat Bangladesh and even tied an encounter against the star-studded Indian team. After their maiden Test match victory, Rashid mentioned that the Afghanistan team has showed in the recent time that they have the ability to beat any side.
“We have the talent and we have the skills. How we played in the Asia Cup was totally different and we showed that we can beat any side. The only thing is to believe in your skills. Just to be relaxed in big matches and enjoy your game,” said Rashid Khan.
The leg-spinner feels that their maiden Test victory against Ireland will help in motivating the young first-class cricketers in Afghanistan. He stated that people in the country will like Test cricket a lot more after this victory.
“The win against Ireland will help motivate our first-class cricketers. People will start loving Tests rather than Twenty20s and ODIs,” he added.
I don’t put that pressure on myself
In such a short span of an international career, Rashid has emerged as one of the most talented and promising spinners. In 56 ODIs and 38 T20Is, the leggie has scalped a fabulous tally of 123 and 75 wickets respectively.
“It was tough because of the lack of facilities. No good grounds and equipment. But we still enjoyed our cricket. We never put it in our mind that we don’t have facilities or stuff like that and tried to focus on our game. My brothers used to watch and play cricket and that’s how I became a big fan of the game,” the Afghanistan leg-spinner concluded.