Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi    Getty Images
Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi Getty Images

Afghanistan cricket had reached the pinnacle of success much before it attained the Test status. Players like Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Mohammad Shahzad helped the side scale. Two men who caught the world’s attention were Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan.

They were richly awarded in the T20 leagues. Rashid and Nabi are household names now with their performance making the most noise. Rashid has 68 wickets in 31 ODIs. It includes the fourth best figures in one-day history of 7 for 18 (against West Indies in June 2017). He then became the first bowler in the history of CPL to claim a hat-trick for Guyana Amazon Warriors. He also became the youngest to 100 T20 wickets in August 2017.

Prior to all this, Rashid enjoyed his success in IPL. He earned accolades from experienced international cricketers like David Warner, Tom Moody, VVS Laxman, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He ended IPL with 17 wickets off 14 matches at 21.05. He went on to be signed by Adelaide Strikers for the seventh edition of BBL.

The story has been equally fascinating for Mohammad Nabi. The all-rounder began his career at the age of 15, as a refugee in Pakistan. From playing cricket for local clubs in Pakistan and Kabul, Nabi went on to represent Afghanistan at international level in 2009. He holds 172 wickets from 151 T20 matches at 20.76. As for ODIs, Nabi has taken 88 wickets off 85 matches. In IPL, Nabi took 3 wickets from 2 matches at 29 while in CPL he holds tally of 9 wickets from 12 matches at 24.77.

Nabi can be equally effective with the bat in crisis situation. He can whack the ball and has done so on several occasions. He has 1,971 runs from 85 ODIs at 28.98 and 2,018 runs from 151 T20s at 21.02.

Nabi and Rashid played together in IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

Afghan Jalebi in BBL

Melbourne Renegades captain Aaron Finch is excited to have the Nabi in his side for this season of BBL. Everyone speaks very highly of his game. (He) can smack them with the bat, so good all-round package, he told cricket.com.au.

The touch of Caribbean flavour

Before getting all excited, Nabi will be playing just 7 games for the Renegades before leaving for national assignments. What after Nabi? Renegades have found a cover in advance. Kieron Pollard will take over the role for the remaining three matches.

Pollard will be playing his fifth edition of BBL. Pollard had played the first 4 seasons for Strikers. Dwayne Bravo, too, is expected to return to Renegades this season. These players would be playing alongside veteran Brad Hodge.