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Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Afghanistan Cricketer, IPL, Facts

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Who is Mujeeb Ur Rahman?

His father passed away when he was just 3 months old and as a result, he grew up in his maternal grandparents’ mansion. In-spite of living in a beautiful mansion, way more luxurious than an average Afghanistani, Mujeeb Ur Rahman still lived with a huge loss of losing a parent at such an early age. His family is a typical joint business family, who own quite a lot of land, a little South of Kabul in their village in the Khost Province. When we say a lot of land, we mean like a lot of it! His family is literally quite loaded.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman Wicket
Image Source: SportsKeeda

Mujeeb Ur Rahman lived inside a big compound around which there was plenty of space to play. Now, wait for it. There was also a zoo sort of an arrangement made inside their compound where the family reared animals. Now add a dozen of guest- houses to it and that exactly personifies the phrase when they say, “He was born with a golden spoon”. He would have still wished for his father to be around though but life is never what we expect it to be. We can only make it better and so he did.

When Mujeeb Ur Rahman Was Just 13

While he just crossed the threshold of his teens, Mujeeb decided to give it a shot at the Under-16 Trials which were held at the Khost Province. He wanted to play with the big boys and prove a point to everyone, only to be unfortunately rejected. A dejected Mujeeb Ur Rahman was then advised by his mother to focus on his studies instead, in order for his future to be secure, but Mujeeb was in no mood to take this one sitting down. He requested his mother that he wanted to try again and fortunately for him, he had all the support of his family. What happened next? Well, he finally got selected the second time around and there was no looking back ever since for the youngster.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Learnt It All By Himself

There were 2 ways Mujeeb Ur Rahman developed his game. Yes, he had a coach but that was later in life. Back in the days somewhere around in 2003 when Mujeeb was a baby, well, he still is rather, there were nets and a lot of other cricket facilities added to his house in order to help his cousin and also a current member of the Afghanistan Cricket Team, Noor Ali Zardan. They wanted Noor to make the entire family proud by making it to the Afghanistan Team, and so he did when he made his debut on the 19th of April 2009 against Scotland.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Early Cricket Career

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: List-A Debut

The young right arm off-break spinner made his List-A debut on the 10th of August 2017 during the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Regional One Day Tournament. Even though it seems like he has been there since forever, but yes, this indeed happened in 2017! He then went on to make his T20 debut for the Boost Defenders in the Shpageeza Cricket League which is quite a renowned league in Afghanistan.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Bangladesh Premier League

Life was getting better for the youngster. It was like dreams were becoming reality. He soon got a call from Comila Victorians who wanted him to play for them. This was going to be his first International assignment and a big step in his cricketing career. He could, unfortunately, make it for only 2 games in the league though but it sure was a great experience. Having said that, the young man had his eyes set on something even bigger.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Under 19 Asia Cup

Mujeeb was absolutely sensational during the Under 19 Asia Cup and helped his team win a tournament which also consisted of Asian Giants like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Nobody expected the young Afghans to win, but Mujeeb and the rest of the Afghan boys absolutely turned the heat on. It’s hard to believe but he actually took 20 wickets in just 5 matches at an economy of 2.76, and not surprisingly finished as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament! Yes, these things also happen these days, even though we live in an era where the willow dominates the leather way too much. As a result, he was rewarded with a selection in the Afghanistan National Cricket Team. This was suddenly getting real now. Mujeeb was all set to make his debut.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman ODI Debut

Mujeeb Ur Rahman Bowling
Image Source: Indian Express

This was probably the biggest day of Mujeeb’s life. This happened on the 5th of December 2017 against Ireland. From playing in his backyard with his elder cousins, he was now all set to represent his country at the International Level. He immediately left a mark as the young Mujeeb announced his arrival like an absolute beast. Well, not exactly, as he is much calmer in nature than a real beast, but that’s how ruthless he was towards the Irish batsmen who had no idea about how to handle him. He gave away only 24 runs in 10 overs and was the owner of 4 wickets. He literally bossed his debut game and also won the ‘Man Of The Match’ for the stunner of a performance he produced. Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s performance also happened to boast the joint best-figures ever on debut by an Afghanistan bowler at par with his team-mate Shapoor Zadran.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: T20 Debut

The youngster made his T20 debut against Zimbabwe on the 5th of February 2018 and not surprisingly impressed everyone yet again by giving away only 25 runs in his quota of  4 overs. Mujeeb Ur Rahman went wicket-less, but giving away 25 in 4 in T20 cricket certainly means more than a couple of wickets, as the batsmen come under pressure and as a result, go for a rash shot against other bowlers only to lose their wicket on most of the occasions. This is what pressure could do in cricket, or in life rather.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: IPL Auctions

He had set his base price at a mere Rs 50 Lakhs but who knew that there was going to be a serious battle between the Delhi Daredevils and the Kings XI Punjab to acquire the services of the youngster from Afghanistan. They realized that if Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi could do it, so could Mujeeb. The deal was finally sealed at a whopping Rs 4.00 Crore when Sehwag and Preity Zinta finally took him away from the Daredevils.  Delhi had bid Rs 3.80 Crore, KXIP increased it to Rs 4.00 Crore, which the Daredevils thought was too expensive considering he was just a rookie.

Money was never a problem for him either but Mujeeb had certainly come a long way. At such a young age, he had already travelled to various countries and the kind of exposure he was going to get during the Indian Premier League was going to be pure gold. His family was doing double cart-wheels at home, and Mujeeb if given a chance had an opportunity to make a name for himself in a league, which has the maximum viewership World-Wide.

ICC World Cup Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Owing to his great star performances across all formats, and also an IPL call-up, there was no doubt about his selection in the ICC World Cup 2019 qualifiers. Not only did he get an opportunity, he made sure that his team emerges as winners of the tournament. Mujeeb Ur Rahman finished as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament, ( Tied with Safyaan Sharif and Rashid Khan at 17 wickets). Not to forget, he took 4 wickets in the all-important final and gave away only 43 runs in 9.5 overs. One of his victims was also the ‘Universe Boss’, Chris Gayle who he knocked over way before the left-hander could do any damage.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Career

Hats off to the youngster who had been playing non-stop cricket ever since. He just won the final for this country on the 25th of March 2018, and in no time, he was all set in India to apply his trade for the Kings XI Punjab. Not many had heard his name before, and nobody even expected him to be a part of the playing XI.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Kings XI Punjab

Mujeeb Ur Rahman Kings XI Punjab
Image Source: DNA India.com

We all expected Ravichandran Ashwin to be a different kind of captain and expected him to do something different by surprising the opposition, and so he did. If anyone told me that they knew Mujeeb ur Rahman would be bowling the 3rd over of the 2nd match of the Indian Premier League, they would certainly being lying to me. As usual, by now, Mujeeb had a habit of creating an early impact wherever he went. The right arm off break bowler wasted no time and struck gold on just his 3rd ball, by dismissing the dangerous Colin Munro from the Delhi Daredevils.  He ended his debut game with figures of 2 for 28 in his allotted quota of 4 overs.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman: IPL Stats

Just like his senior team-mates Mohammad Nabi and more importantly Rashid Khan who completely aced it during the IPL 2018, Mujeeb was not far behind either. He finished the season with 14 wickets in 11 games at an economy rate of just 6.99. Even though the Kings XI Punjab lost, even after a kick-ass first half where they literally won every game, they would certainly not regret their ‘Master-Stroke’ on going all out at the auction table for the young Mujeeb.

Afghanistan’s Test Match Debut Against India

Mujeeb Ur Rahman was one those 11 fortunate men who were a part of Afghanistan’s first-ever Test Match. Interestingly, his cousin brother, Noor Ali Zardan, who is 13 years older than him, was also a part of the same team. It certainly wasn’t a Test Debut to remember for any of the Afghan players, but that was always expected against a strong Indian side at home.  Even the most experienced players struggle to win Test Matches in India, during their first tour they hardly even score any runs or take any wickets and for those reasons, it could be completely unfair to judge an improved Afghanistan side just in their first audition of Test Cricket. We all live to learn, and there is certainly a lot more to look forward to for the Afghanistan Cricket Team, especially considering the fact that the core of the team is still very young.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman IPL 2019

His birthday is on the 28th of March which means by the time the Indian Premier League 2019 begins, he would barely turn 18. There is no doubt that the Kings XI Punjab would be looking forward to his services as the youngster would even be more mature next time around. Well, looking at his age he already is, and it would be interesting to see if Mujeeb Ur Rahman could create the same impact during the IPL 2019. One factor going against him though is the fact that there would be a plenty of video footage of him available now and the teams will certainly have a plan against him. Having said that, he has age on his side which is the biggest positive possible and just like fine wine, he would only get better with age.

A Few More Interesting Facts About Mujeeb Ur Rahman

1. He is the youngest ever player to play in the history of the Indian Premier League. He made his debut against the Delhi Daredevils when he just 17 years and 11 days old.

2. Considering he got 2 wickets in his very first game, he also became the youngest ever player ever to take a wicket in the IPL.

3, When Mujeeb Ur Rahman was just 16 years and 252 days old he made his ODI debut against Ireland. While doing so, in the process, he also became the youngest ever ‘Afghani Cricketer’ and 9th overall to have played ODI Cricket.

4. No, that is not it. He also holds the record of the first male cricketer born in the 21st century to play International Cricket.

While Cric Crak wishes more power to the young Mujeeb Ur Rahman, we look forward to seeing more of him in the near future.

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