Cricket in war-torn Afghanistan was seen as a ray of hope and is a source of immense happiness for its people. The war in Afghanistan started in 2001 and continued for over a decade, leaving its people and land completely shattered. That is when cricket became an emancipator. Today Afghanistan cricket is reaching new heights and the rise is indeed very steep.
Making a significant impact in Asia Cup 2014 followed by the World Cup 2015 and consistently performing thereafter, the Afghanistan cricket team secured a much-deserved Test status in June 2017.
Its national under-19 team also clinched the U-19 Asia Cup 2017 title.
The people of Afghanistan are ardent followers of the game and their fondness for IPL is no secret. With the IPL 2018 fever building up, Afghanistan cricket fans will be hoping to see more players from their homeland getting picked up by the IPL franchises.
Here's a look at 5 players who may shine in the IPL 2018 auctions :
#5 Najibullah Zadran - Left-handed batsman
Najibullah Zadran is a left-handed batsman who made his international debut in 2012 when he was just 19 years old. Zadran has been splendid in the T20 format. Here is a glimpse at his T20 career stats :
The belligerent Afghan bats at number six or seven and normally plays the role of a finisher in the team. His batting strike rate and the average are a testimony to his hitting abilities and temperament. Zadran is also honing his off-spin bowling skills.
He was picked up by the Chittagong Vikings in this year's Bangladesh Premier League (BPL 2017) and has scored 81 runs in 4 matches so far. The youngster is yearning to prove his mettle in world cricket and could be a good (and relatively affordable) buy for the IPL franchises.