Rashid Khan Image Credit: Organiser

Sharjah: Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s emerging superstar, is ready to play a key role for the Maratha Arabians in his maiden appearance in the T10 League, which got under way on Wednesday.

“It’s just a matter of two overs, that is 12 balls but those 12 balls have to be delivered very smartly,” said the gifted leg-spinner, who became Afghanistan’s first Indian Premier League (IPL) millionaire.

When asked whether he has worked out a plan for the 12 deliveries, Rashid said: “One should have a plan on what should he do with the 12 balls. It is not a format, which will give you 24 balls or 60 balls. Those formats give you time to think on what to do and what not to do unlike T10. So I have to think and produce my best deliveries in full rhythm and full control.”

Does he want to be a superstar of T10 format too? “I will keep it as the same cricket I have played in ODI and T20s but in this, my concentration level will have to be high and even my energy will have to be much more than that is required in ODIs and T20s.”

Now 22, Khan has a personal agenda too while playing in the T10 League — and that is to learn from the Maratha Arabians coaches and improve his game further. The team boasts of a star coaching line-up in head coach Wasim Akram while Virender Sehwag is the batting coach. “Frankly, I am very happy to be with this side, because there will be lots of things I will be able to learn from them from their experience. Akram is someone who has been called the Sultan of Swing and someone who has played all over the world.

“The way Sehwag batted for India was superb. I think he knows better than anyone on how to start the innings as he has done brilliantly for India. It will only be a short time with these two greats but I am hoping to learn as much as I can within these days,” he said.

It may be Rashid’s debut in this format, though he watched the league last year on television. “I watched it last year when I was in Australia. I was playing in the Big Bash that time when the league was on here. I realised then it was totally a batsman’s game with a bowler hardly being able to do anything. My approach will be by saying to myself I have to do well in however number of overs is given to me, be it five overs, two overs or 10 overs. Frankly, this format is a good preparation for T20 as sometimes it can become shorter too due to rain. T10 is new for me, so let me see what I can do.”

Rashid is happy with the Maratha Arabians’ team combination. “We have Kamran Akmal, D.J. Bravo and my Afghanistan colleagues in Najibullah Zadran and Hazratullah Zazai. All are very good T10 players. Remember it is 10 overs and even one or two batsmen can change the game for you,” he warned.