CPL 2017: Warriors leg-spinning sensation promises ‘A-Game’

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Since his introduction on the international scene for Afghanistan, Rashid Khan has been touted as the teenage leg-spinning sensation who bamboozles batsmen with cutting edge accuracy and guile.

Now suiting up for the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the fifth edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which begins on August 4, Khan is planning on causing more nightmares for opposition batsmen.

Khan’s career has been on the upswing since making his T20 International debut in October 2015. He boasts figures of 5 runs for 3 wickets from 2 overs in an Afghanistan match against Ireland.

The precocious leg-spinner fetched the highest ever bid for an Associate player in the 2017 Indian Premier League Auction. He was snapped up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 4 crores (US$597,000), and performed exceptionally, as was expected.

From 14 matches, he snared 17 wickets at an economy rate of 6.62; and has had a best showing of 3 for 19, which placed him sixth on the leading wicket-takers’ list.

“What I did for the last two years I will try my best and do the basics right, and let’s see what happens. Hopefully, this will be a good year”, the 18-year-old disclosed in an interview with this publication.

“It is a pleasure to be a part of the Amazon Warriors. They took me in, and having teammates like [Sohail] Tanveer and Babar Azam is really good”, he added.

Most recently, in the 50-Over format, he etched his name in the annals of history by ripping West Indies to shreds in St Lucia with figures of 7 for 18, the fourth best in the format.

The leg spinner has shown great enthusiasm during the simulation sessions

“It was good for me playing against West Indies; I performed well in St Lucia. What I did was try to bowl the basics right based on the conditions, and it brought wickets,” he explained.

But what makes his leg spin so special? According to the player, it is the quick-arm action. “I think it is a bit different from the other leg spinners. I’m too quick in the air, with a quick-arm action which makes it difficult for them [batsmen] to pick the spin; and that is helping me to get lots of wickets and (to) trouble the best,” Khan explained.

“The Biggest Party in Sport” is known for having mammoth crowds enjoying a festive atmosphere, and Khan has promised to bring his ‘A-Game’ to the party.

“For the debut season, I’m really looking forward to deliver good performances and to be (at my) best in CPL”, he disclosed.

His message to the fans is: “Well, all fans of Guyana Amazon Warriors, wherever you are, keep supporting us. Inshallah, we will do the best to perform well and win (the) title. And don’t forget us in your prayers!”

Along with Steven Jacobs and Veerasammy Permaul, Khan will form the core of the Warriors’ talented spin attack. The trio should receive great assistance from the Caribbean pitches. (Akeem Greene)

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