Find out a little bit more about Sussex Sharks' latest signing, Rashid Khan, with these eleven things you might not know about the world's best leg spinner...
1. Rashid’s hometown is the city of Jalalabad, the capital of the Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan. Home to around 350,000 people, the city is twinned with San Diego in the USA. Jalalabad has provided many of Afghanistan’s international cricketers and is the home of the 14,000 capacity Ghazi Amanullah International Cricket Stadium
2. Rashid has six brothers and four sisters and is the sixth oldest of his siblings. All of his brothers also bowl leg-spin! Rashid’s trademark ‘airplane’ celebration came about thanks to a request from his nephews that he perform it each time he takes a wicket.
3. As a young boy, Rashid spent time living in Pakistan. His hero growing up was fellow leg spinner and big-hitter Shahid ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi, who hails from Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area, which borders Nangarhar. Afridi and Khan share Pashtun heritage.
4. Rashid’s favourite ground in the world is Lord’s, but he is yet to play there. That could all change this summer if Rashid is still with the Sharks when they play Middlesex at the home of cricket on 2nd August. The exact length of Rashid’s time with Sussex will depend on the finalised Caribbean Premier League fixtures.
5. In little over a year, Rashid has played in five club T20 tournaments around the world: Bangladesh Premier League (Comilla Victorians), Indian Premier League (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Caribbean Premier League (Guyana Amazon Warriors), Afghanistan’s Shpageeza Cricket League (Band-e-Amir Dragons) and the Big Bash League (Adelaide Strikers). He will add a sixth when he plays for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League later this month and, of course, a seventh when he makes his Sussex Sharks debut in this year’s Vitality Blast.
6. When Rashid made his debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the tournament last year, he became the first Afghan to play in the IPL. He was only the third cricketer from an associate nation to play in the tournament, following Dirk Nannes and Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands). Rashid was one of four Afghan players to be picked up in last month’s IPL auction, being bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for nearly £1 million.
7. Five of the current Sussex Sharks squad have played with or against Rashid: Jofra Archer was on the opposite side as Rashid on two occasions during this year’s BBL, as was Tymal Mills who also met Rashid in last year’s IPL. Chris Jordan was on the same side as the leg spinner in that tournament and has come up against him in the BPL and whilst on England duty. David Wiese has played against Rashid for South Africa and Luke Wright duelled with him during the BPL at the end of last year.
8. Sussex’s latest signing is the fourth youngest man to play T20 internationals. Rashid was 17 years and 36 days old when he made his debut against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. He took 1-20 from his four overs, setting the tone for his superb career economy rate in T20Is (5.86 rpo). Rashid has the fifth best bowling figures ever recorded in a T20I: 5-3 off just two overs against Ireland in March last year.
9. In his first senior ICC global tournament, the 2015/6 World T20, Rashid was the second highest wicket taker with 11 wickets in seven matches, behind only his Afghanistan teammate Mohammad Nabi, who took 12. Rashid’s scalps included Ben Stokes, our own Chris Jordan and Marlon Samuels.
10. Rashid played in every one of Afghanistan’s record run of eleven consecutive T20I victories, taking 23 wickets in the process.
11. Rashid looks set to make his test debut just before he arrives at The 1st Central County Ground this summer. Afghanistan will play their first ever test match in Bangalore in June when they take on India, the number one side in the world.
Catch Rashid in action for Sussex Sharks this summer in the Vitality Blast. The T20 Blast Pass gives supporters access to all seven of Sussex Sharks’ home group matches in the tournament and is available now.