Afghan spinner Rashid Khan recently opened up about his diet routine during his early days in cricket. The leg-spinner revealed that he used to consume a lot of unhealthy food like biryani and sweet dishes those days.
It is quite understandable that initially, Rashid Khan was not very aware of the diet routines and fitness regimens of elite international cricketers around the world. Following his IPL debut in 2017, Rashid's outlook towards the game and fitness changed completely.
When asked about his diet before his IPL stint began in 2017 during his conversation with The Cricket Monthly, Rashid Khan said:
"I used to eat so much unhealthy food: biryani, breads, a bit of sweets. But since the 2017 IPL, I have stopped all that. Now mostly I have barbecue or grilled food along with salad. I decided if I want to be the best and if I have to improve my skills, I have to be fitter."
"For a couple of years, I totally stopped eating biryani, breads and sweets. I have them once a month or when I decide to have a cheating day. But I do gym regularly. As long as you are fully committed, the performance will speak for itself."
Rashid Khan learned things quickly and adopted a strict diet routine to improve his fitness levels. This has helped him perform to his optimum level on the field.
Coming from Afghanistan, it's pretty hard to understand about fitness: Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan then disclosed how he struggled for consistency during his initial IPL run. According to him, playing back-to-back matches with less gap in between took a toll on him, and that eventually affected his performances on the cricket field.
In this regard, he said:
"Before 2017 - when I played the IPL for the first time - my consistency wasn't as good, and the reason for that was my fitness. After playing a couple of games, my body wasn't ready for the next couple, and that's why the performances weren't coming. But since the 2017 IPL, I saw how players took care of their fitness."
Rashid Khan continued:
"I was hardly going to the gym before that (laughs). Coming from Afghanistan, it's pretty hard to understand these things when you don't have the kind of facilities to see how important fitness is. It is more cricket there than about fitness. Since then, I started working on my fitness. It took a couple of years to get back in proper shape."
Exposure to the standards of world-class international players has helped Rashid's overall growth as a player over the last four years. Rashid Khan will soon lead the Afghanistan bowling unit during the T20 World Cup.