Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan has revealed that Sachin Tendulkar, Shahid Afridi, and Anil Kumble were cricket heroes for him and he grew up admiring these legends when Afghanistan was yet to carve its own identity at the international level.
Rashid further said that he loved watching Kumble, Tendulkar, and Afridi on TV and even used to dream about these three players and imagine being them.
Notably, the 23-year-old made his debut for Afghanistan in 2015 and has already picked up over 600 wickets with 15 five-wicket hauls. He is a very familiar name in world cricket and is now gearing up to play in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman.
Well, the Afghan star is known for his wily spin-bowling, but he wants to hit big sixes as well, revealing he shifted from being a grafter to a power-hitter while watching Tendulkar’s batting.
Rashid told ESPNcricinfo: “Batting-wise, I always loved watching Sachin Tendulkar. [Back then] I wasn’t the kind of player with a mindset of hitting sixes. I loved playing down the ground, singles, and boundaries. I don’t know how and why I changed my mind to now mainly focusing on hitting sixes.”
He added, “Bowling-wise, definitely Shahid Afridi and Anil Kumble. Even at home, playing against my brothers, I was bowling quicker leg-spin [like Afridi and Kumble]. I loved watching them on TV. I still watch videos [of them] on YouTube – there are so many things I learned from them and still do.”
Rashid also revealed that he had no hopes of being an international cricketer since there was no proper team back then in Afghanistan while saying meeting the trio was more than a dream for him.
Rashid signed off by saying, “I used to dream about these three players and imagine being them. We didn’t have a proper Afghanistan team back then and there were no hopes for us to be international cricketers, so watching them (Kumble, Tendulkar, and Afridi) was a great, great time. And now when I meet them, it is more than a dream.”