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Babar Azam is among top-five batsmen in the world: Rashid Khan

Afghanistan leg-spinner is looking forward to the challenge of bowling against Pakistan captain

Babar Azam is among top-five batsmen in the world: Rashid Khan PHOTO COURTESY: PCB/ACB

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan is looking forward to the challenge of bowling against Pakistan captain Babar Azam in the upcoming sixth season of Pakistan Super League (PSL), due to begin from February 20 in Karachi.

While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, the leg-spinner said he rates the Karachi Kings batsman among the top five batsmen in the world right now.

“The kind of performances he [Babar Azam] has given in the last four or five years in all three formats, he is among the top five batsmen in the world at the moment,” said Rashid.

“I enjoy the challenge of bowling to the top players. Like in IPL, when I bowl to Ab de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith, it shows me where I stand as a bowler and what I need to improve. I played against Babar in Asia Cup and I also played alongside him for Guyana Amazon Warriors in CPL, so we are also good friends. It will be a tough challenge to play against him, as the margin of error is very low against top batsman like him,” he added.

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Rashid is hoping to spend more time with his childhood idol, Shahid Afridi, and pick his brain regarding different aspects of the game.

“I didn’t get much time to discuss cricket with him. I have played only one game with him. I was so lucky to be in the same team as him during his last international match for World XI against West Indies at Lord’s. Hopefully in the upcoming PSL, I get to share some time with him and learn from his experience as he has played all over the world. I would love get some batting tips as well, since he is called ‘Boom Boom’ and knows how to hit big sixes,” he said.

The 22-year-old also batted for a bilateral series between the two neighbouring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“It is very important for both countries to play cricket with each other. Sport has the power to unite people. We have come here to play PSL and hopefully this will pave the way for future series between both countries in all three formats. The more we play against the best sides, it will help us improve our cricket and our young players will gain valuable experience by playing in Pakistan,” he concluded.