Mujeeb Zadran © AFP
Mujeeb Zadran © AFP

Afghanistan have registered their maiden T20I series victory against Bangladesh as they defeated them by 6 wickets in the second T20I. Mujeeb Zadran who struck gold on the first delivery of his very first over last match went wicketless this time but conceded only 15 runs. He has been one of the star bowler for them along with Rashid Khan. His rose to fame after brilliant performance in the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand.

In an interview with TOI. Mujeeb talks about his cricketing journey which began at a very young age. Unlike Rashid, Mujeeb had access to proper coaching as his nephew Noor Ali Zadran featured in Afghanistan’s debut ODI against Scotland in 2009. He grew up in a nursery which his uncle built in his house in Kabul.

“I used to bowl to my uncle from a very young age. And I bowled with a mindset that I was already playing at the international level. Right from the beginning, I got a chance to bowl to international players,” says Mujeeb.

There were questions about why Mujeeb did not speak after receiving Man of the match award in IPL 2018. However he has cleared all doubts as he does not speak any common language. “No English or Hindi. Only Pashto.” He later added that on field he can understand what he has been instructed due to his cricketing knowledge.

Cricket is my language

“Cricket is my language. I bank on my cricketing knowledge. I understand what is being told to me, the language doesn’t matter. I understand cricketing stuff.”

“I watched Ajantha Mendis, Sunil Narine and Ravichandran Ashwin bowling different type of balls. That fascinated me. I kept watching the videos and grew with it,” Mujeeb reveals.

Mujeeb later talks about how he managed to clean bowled Virat Kohli in IPL. “I observed his footwork very minutely. I drew him forward and exposed the gap,” he concludes.