It is hard to fly under the radar when you are one of the country's best cricket talents. But that is precisely what Afghanistan cricket all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has been able to do. A middle-order batsman who is capable of playing according to the situation and a crafty off-spinner who makes the most of his talents with the ball, Mohammad Nabi's story is almost as staggering as Afghanistan cricket rise in the international arena.
Mohammad Nabi career
Mohammad Nabi was born in Afghanistan but moved to Peshawar, Pakistan as his family sought a safe haven, away from the war in Afghanistan. At the age of 10, Nabi first took up cricket and like most kids, it was a career that started with plenty of tennis ball cricket. He started training at Arshad Khan's academy in Peshawar and rapidly rose through the ranks.
His first taste of top-flight professional cricket came as he was part of an MCC side, who was taking on Sri Lanka A at Arundel in a tour match in July 2007. That came about courtesy of a century against a visiting MCC side on a tour of India, which was seen by Mike Gatting, who promptly brought him to play for the MCC. Since then he has played for the Afghanistan cricket team and also played in various T20 leagues around the world, including the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
A middle-order batsman who also bowls off-spin, he is the ideal all-rounder and he has been at the center of Afghanistan's rise from the ICC World Cricket League Division Five to the team that has achieved international status and will be playing its first Test match against India at Bengaluru.
His international debut came in the ICC World Cup Qualifier against Scotland at Benoni in April 2009 where he scored a fifty and helped his claim a win. Even before his ODI debut, he played a crucial role in ensuring that Afghanistan got there. Although Afghanistan didn't manage to qualify for that edition of the World Cup, he has been a permanent fixture in the Afghanistan cricket side since then.
Mohammad Nabi was an integral part of the Afghanistan cricket side that qualified for the World T20 for four successive editions from 2010 to 2016. Although he has taken over as captain a couple of times, including captaining the side during their maiden World Cup campaign in 2015, he has primarily been the veteran presence in the side.
He has played almost 100 ODIs and 63 T20Is for Afghanistan and picked up more than 160 international wickets. Nabi also has more than 3,000 international runs to his name.
SRH, IPL and Mohammad Nabi
Mohammad Nabi made history as he was one of two Afghanistan players bought by SRH in the IPL Auction 2017. Although he played only three matches for SRH in IPL 2017, he was incredibly effective with the ball as he had an economy rate of under 5.5. He was brought back by SRH for IPL 2018 and he has played five matches in the IPL taking three wickets.
Nabi's cricket career has taken him to Pakistan, where he made his List-A debut with Pakistan Customs, England where he made his first-class debut with Marylebone Cricket Club and to various T20 leagues around the world, including the IPL, BBL, CPL, PSL and, BPL.