The IPL has always provided a platform not only for the Indian cricketers but also for the foreign players to prove their mettle and make it to the national side. No wonder, many youngsters across the world are eager to play in the T20 extravaganza and Rashid Khan was one of those a few years ago when the auction ahead of the 2017 season got underway.
He was already a household name after a brilliant show in the T20 World Cup in 2016 which was played in India. Rashid had picked 11 wickets in seven matches at an average of 16.63 and a wily economy of 6.53. Though Afghanistan didn’t go through to the next round, they defeated the eventual champions West Indies and many were impressed with the then 17-year-old spinning the web around best of the batsmen.
During an Instagram live chat with Jatin Sapru, Rashid Khan recalled the moments when the IPL 2017 auction was in progress. He was in Zimbabwe for a series during that time and it was 5 AM in the country. The leggie also remembers the likes of Aakash Chopra and Michael Vaughan lauding for him in a tweet during the mega event in India.
Moreover, the Afghanistan cricketer also revealed that the Mumbai Indians (MI) were planning to secure his services in the auction.
Rashid Khan had saved the tweets and was reading them daily
Interestingly, Rashid Khan was so overwhelmed with the praise that he had saved those tweets from the former cricketers and used to read them daily. “It (getting picked in IPL auction) never crossed my mind. When I played 2016 WT20 in India, that time Aakash Chopra tweeted, ‘if any team wants a leg-spinner, then Rashid Khan is here’. Even Michael Vaughan tweeted later.”
Young Rashid Khan is a brilliant bowler…hope the #IPL teams are watching. #AFG #WT20
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 17, 2016
Dont forget Rashid from Afghanistan 🇦🇫 https://t.co/Mc1h5jYn00
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 18, 2017
“I saved those tweets and used to check every day. When IPL 2017 Auction happened, I was in Zimbabwe, it was 5 in the morning,” he said. But when Imran Tahir went unsold in the spinners pool, doubts started creeping in his mind. The leg-spinner felt that if a bowler like Tahir is not being picked, then he won’t get any bids either.
At the same time though Rashid got a message from his brother stating that Mahela Jayawardene (the then Mumbai Indians coach) will pick him as he had dismissed him and Kumar Sangakkara in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) earlier. Eventually, there was a bidding war for him in the auction and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) snapped him up for a whopping amount of Rs 4 crore.
“Imran Tahir went unsold without any bids, he was a top spinner at that time. I thought spinners will not get bids that season and no one will take me as well. That was the time when my brother messaged me that Mahela Jayawardene (Mumbai Indians coach) will pick me because I got his wicket and Sangakkara’s wicket in BPL.
“When my bid started, I was totally shocked and surprised and the bid started to increase, it was totally blank for me. That was my most memorable day,” Rashid added.
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