ICC Awards 2017: Rashid Khan wins ICC Associate Cricketer Award
What's the story?
Afghanistan's teenage leg-spin sensation Rashid Khan has been honoured with the ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year Award for his exceptional performance and consistency with the ball throughout the 2017 season.
Rashid bagged the honours from his compatriot Mohammad Shahzad, who was the winner for 2016.
In case you didn't know..
The wily wrist spinner, still only 19, was exceptional with his leg-spinners and googlies for Afghanistan, who are one of two newly-crowned full members. He shone in ODIs with as many as 43 scalps in only 16 games with a career-best of 7/18 at 10.44; and in T20 internationals, he got 17 wickets in 10 matches at a measly average of 9.41 and astonishing best figures of 5/3.
The heart of the matter
Rashid's best ODI haul of 7/18 came against West Indies in their own backyard in a three-match ODI series, the first of which was won by Afghanistan by 63 runs. Those figures are the fourth-best in the history of the format, and in Greater Noida, Rashid gave Ireland a taste of his bowling with a haul of 6/43, just days after bagging 5/3 in a T20 against them.
So fearsome had Rashid become that teams from the IPL and the BBL rushed to sign him up. “I am really honoured and happy on getting this award. The year 2017 was very memorable for me. I really enjoyed myself and it has been amazing winning over fans from all over the world,” a delighted Rashid told icc-cricket.com.
For a rising young cricketer like Rashid to gain such a huge honour at the international level will count as a massive achievement, especially considering the fact that the teen hails from a country which is not able to host international sides due to persistent political conflict and wars, and one which has only recently gained Test status, with their first Test due against India this June.