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Afghanistan's Brad Hogg, A Born Googly Bowler!

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Zahir Khan 17 made his first-class debut for Afghanistan against Papua New Guinea in the 2015–17 ICC Intercontinental Cup on 21 November 2015. He played for the Afghanistan U-19 team in the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.

Zahir was born in December 20, 1998 in Paktika Province Afghanistan, where cricket is not very popular. He is younger brother of his six brothers and sisters, and says he started cricket from the street and in the local ground to play tennis-ball cricket when he was around ten years old. It helped being in a cricket-steeped environment, although facilities were at a bare minimum.

Sitting at home and enjoying cricket and learning cricketing techniques from world's best cricketers on Television. Shahid Afridi and Brad Hogg Australia’s most mercurial Chinaman bowler made an impression on him.

"I saw Brad Hogg and Shahid Afridi on Television and learned the initial bowling techniques, as I like the way both bowls," Zahir says. "I am still trying to develop other deliveries and improving flipper and working a lot on them. Hopefully when I meet Hogg or Shahid Afridi I will learn more from him especially modern bowling techniques."

"So far I have only spoken with the Afghan coach and former skipper of Afghanistan Cricket Team Dawlat Ahmadzai when we had a camp in Kabul," Zahir says. "I spoke to him and I have learned from him. He just told me that everything is okay. I just have to control bowling line."

In the ICC Intercontinental Cup match at Greater Noida, Chinaman Zahir Khan in the first and second innings respectively, shaped Afghanistan's innings-and-36-run victory over Namibia. The win helped Afghanistan climb up two spots to third place on the points table, behind Ireland and Netherlands.

Zahir Khan receiving Man of the Match award from Kabir Khan in 4-Day match against HBL Pakistan in Kabul

Playing in his second first-class match with Namibia, Zahir took the lead with the ball in the second innings and rolled out the middle order to finish with 5 for 31.

"My parents, friends and all Afghans are now feeling so proud for me the way I performed in the Intercontinental Cup and then the Zimbabwe Under-19 One-Day series," he says. "I am getting so much love from Cricket Fans in Afghanistan. People are so keen to watch cricket; they love the players."

"We had zero cricket facilities as we have today," Zahir says. "Nowadays we are playing amply games in Kabul, Nangarhar and Khost. Now, I am very thankful to Allah, we have number of cricket academies in Afghanistan. We have six cricket ground for domestic cricket where we play matches, even international games as well. But still there is room for improving our cricket.

"I like Mohammad Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai in Afghanistan national cricket team, they always helped me in bowling and fielding," he says. "My favorite player is Mohammad Shahzad and I like his batting and watching him play.

"My bowling is especially for 4-Day," he says. "If I get an opportunity to play in any leagues, I am ready for it.”

"Full membership is our dream, to play Test cricket. We are working hard for it. Afghanistan Cricket Board provided all the required facilities to play Test cricket. We are hopeful to play Test cricket soon."



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