ICC cricket | It is only right that Afghanistan’s inaugural T20 International matchup with Australia would occur in a city where Rashid Khan has built lifelong relationships.
The best T20 bowler in the world, Rashid Khan has also represented Afghanistan in Test and ODI cricket but has yet to play on home soil for his birth country.
ICC cricket | Given the remote likelihood that Kabul will host international cricket anytime soon and Rashid’s longstanding affiliation with Adelaide Strikers in the KFC BBL, this week’s ICC T20 World Cup match against Australia at Adelaide Oval may be as close to a “homecoming” as Rashid experiences in the near future.
The 24-year-old has been a key member of the Strikers “family,” as he proudly refers to, since 2017. Over the course of the previous six seasons, he has grown so popular with local supporters that he has joked that Friday’s game in Adelaide may as a result be considered a “home” event for his club.
Before the World Cup started last month, Rashid told reporters that he always received a lot of love and support from the crowd.
We won’t feel like we’re playing in Australia; instead, it will seem like Afghanistan is playing at home, and there will surely be support for them.
“Other team members were debating this and asking, “Will the Strikers supporters be supporting you, or Australia?”
“That’s the type of questions the team was asking,”
In spite of Adelaide’s unseasonably chilly late spring, the Afghanistan cricket team can expect a warm welcome for a number of historical reasons that go beyond Rashid’s six-year tenure with the Strikers.
The first “Afghan” (in reality, Pathans from the tribal region on what is now the Afghanistan-Pakistan border) settlers arrived in South Africa in the middle of the 1850s to run the camel trains that transported supplies to the country’s interior and the supplies needed to build the overland telegraph.
The Ghan train service that runs between Adelaide and Darwin honours the contribution of Afghan settlers to transcontinental transportation by bearing their name. Australia’s first metropolitan mosque was constructed in Adelaide more than 100 years ago and still stands there today in Little Gilbert Street.