Bengaluru: Four Afghan cricketers created history and made huge strides as they were picked up by their respective franchises in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) auction 2018 here on Sunday.
The cricketers - Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Zahir Khan and Mujeeb Zadran were snapped up by different IPL franchise teams.
On Saturday, Rashid was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping Rs. 9 crores via the right to match card, after there was heavy bidding by the Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians earlier.
However, Sunrisers Hyderabad snapped him up with the right-to-match-card (RTM) card, thus retaining him. Rashid was hence, the most expensive Afghan player.
On Sunday, Nabi was bought by the same franchise for Rs. 1 crore respectively. Both Rashid and Nabi have played for Sunrisers Hyderabad last year.
Zahir and Mujeeb, who are currently playing in the U-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, were also snapped up by the respective franchises with lucrative deals.
Zadran was picked up by the Kings XI Punjab for a sturdy Rs. 4 crores, while Zahir was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals for his base price of Rs. 60 lakhs.
Rashid, who is also known as Afghanistan's "million dollar baby", shot into the limelight last year, as he was the first ever cricketer from Afghanistan to play in the IPL last year for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Nabi was also picked up by the same team as well, the Tolo News reported.
He had a sterling career last year, which saw him rise to stardom around the world, as he bowled riveting legbreaks to trouble various batsmen in different international league tournaments so far.
After he played in the IPL, he went on to play for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) respectively. Currently, he is playing in Australia's Big Bash League for the Adelaide Strikers team. He has taken 17 wickets so far for the Strikers.
On January 18, Rashid was named as the International Cricket Council (ICC) Associate Cricketer of the Year.
The youngster, Najeeb, who is just 16-years-old, became the toast of the town, when he scalped four wickets against Ireland in his ODI debut last year.
He again repeated his same performance in the U-19 match against New Zealand on Thursday when he blew the Kiwi batsmen away with his unplayable offbreaks to hand a 202-run win for Afghanistan.
Najeeb is also credited for securing Afghanistan's win in their maiden appearance at the U-19 Asia Cup against Pakistan. He also claimed 17 wickets against Bangladesh in a bilateral Youth ODI series, both in last year.
Up to 578 players, out of the 1,122 players went under the hammer in the two-day auction. This includes 244 capped players (62 from India), 332 uncapped players (34 from overseas), and two players from Associate countries.
Other Afghan cricketers such as- Mohammad Shahzad, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Najibullah Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran and Gulbadin Naib found no takers.
The 2018 IPL season will begin from April 7 and will go on till May 27, which will be held in different parts of India....