New environment for me: Rashid Khan on Mzansi Super League
Rashid Khan (Getty Image)

Afghanistan legspinner Rashid Khan is looking forward to his stint in South Africa’s Mzansi Super League that starts November 16. Selected by Durham Heats as their marquee player, Rashid is eager to make a splash in South Africa’s T20 league having already excelled in the IPL, BBL and the CPL.

“I am so excited to be playing in the first edition of the Mzansi Super League,” Rashid said. “I have never played cricket in South Africa before and I have only heard great things. South Africans are passionate about cricket and I am looking forward to experiencing a new country and culture.”

The MSL will be Rashid’s maiden assignment in South Africa, and while the 19-year-old doesn’t know what it feels like to be playing in the country, he is banking on his experience with the Big Bash League given the tournament also begins around the same time. Rashid had a fruitful last season with Adelaide Strikers, picking up 18 wickets with an impressive economy rate.

“It is going to be a new environment for me, but I think that my experience of playing in different conditions will enable me to adapt to the situation and conditions,” Rashid said.

With 184 international wickets from 88 matches, Rashid has become one of the most sought-after cricketers and his ranking suggest the statement. Besides leading the T20 rankings for bowlers, Rashid is next only to India’s Jasprit Bumrah in the one-day rankings. Earlier this year in March, Rashid became the fastest bowler to 100 ODI wickets and quite recently, produced a tie for Afghanistan against India in the Asia Cup.

“I’ve got to No. 1 by sticking to my game plan and that is what I will always do,” Rashid said. “T20 is a game that can change very quickly and not every game is going to go your way, and I will just do my best to try and win matches for my team.”

Besides playing in South Africa, Rashid is eager to be sharing the dressing room with teammates Hashim Amla and David Miller. “The beauty of T20 franchise cricket is the world-class players that you play with and against. To be playing with the likes of Hashim and David is great and I look forward to joining up with them and the rest of the team,” he said.