February 20, 2017 - 2:32pm
On Monday, Mohammad Nabi became the first ever Afghanistan player to be picked by in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL). Nabi was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) during the IPL 2017 Auction. One of the key players of the Afghanistan national side, Nabi emerged as a match winner for them in many of their victories with his powerful batting in middle-order and skilful spin bowling. He came into prominence with the 2016 World T20, and was later picked by Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise Chittagong Vikings (CHV) for the 2016 season of the T20 league. Nabi was picked for his base price of INR 30 lakhs.
Nabi’s heroics in BPL earned him a lot of accolades. He scored a 37-ball 87 against Rajshahi Kings which was among the highlights of his run in the season. He was also the fourth-highest wicket-taker of the season with 44 wickets in 34 matches, including a 4-wicket haul on his debut for Rajshahi Kings. He has also played for Sylhet Royals and Rangpur Riders, and also for Quetta Gladiators in Pakistan Super League (PSL). Closer to home he plays T20 for Afghan Cheetas.
Apart from Nabi, there are four other Afghan cricketers who are up for the grab for IPL franchises this season — Asghar Stanikzai, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Shahzad and Dawlat Zadran. While Nabi was picked, Shahzad and skipper Stanikzai went unsold. This year’s IPL will take off on April 5, 2017 with the first match being played between SRH and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). This will give Nabi a chance to make his IPL debut on the first day.