Rashid Khan Thinks I Can Get an IPL Contract: Afghanistan’s Zazai

Rashid Khan Thinks I Can Get an IPL Contract: Afghanistan’s Zazai

Cricket

Video Editor: Varun Sharma

After smashing a historic six sixes in an over at the Afghanistan Premier League, Hazratullah Zazai was eyeing his maiden IPL contract at the 2019 IPL auction. And after not finding any takers for the upcoming edition, the opening Afghan batsman has smashed a record-breaking 162 off 62 balls against Ireland on Saturday, 23 February.

The opening batsman from Afghanistan came in the spotlight when he became only the third cricketer to achieve the feat in T20 cricket.

“It was when I hit the five sixes that I decided to hit the sixth one as well. Before that, I hadn’t even thought of hitting the bowler for six sixes. We were just going after the target. But after the fifth sixer, I decided I must hit the sixth one as well.”
Hazratullah Zazai

With that hit, the 20-year-old reached the 50-run mark in just 12 balls, and matched his idol Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh’s record of the fastest T20 half-century. He finished the league as the season’s second-highest run-getter with 322 runs in 10 matches, and a strike-rate of 193.97.

“After the match, I told the bowler, and he also said, that this is cricket and it happens. The bowler tries dismissing the batsman and a batsman playing the T20 format will always try hitting a six. So that was a T20 game, and the opposition had given us a big target. We were just trying to chase that,” he added.

During the same tournament, Zazai also scored a 44-ball hundred, which he said he prefers over the six-sixes feat.

“The hundred was really good. The six-sixes was good too because I scored a 12-ball fifty, which was a record as well. But I enjoyed the hundred more.”
Hazratullah Zazai

‘Every Cricketer Dreams to Play IPL’

Having made a mark in his home league, the hard-hitting batsman is next looking forward to getting a contract in the Indian Premier League.

“A few weeks back I’d gone to Punjab to give a trial for Kings XI Punjab. Every cricketers’, especially T20 cricketers, dream is to play in the IPL. The amount of the contract is not important. It could be 1 lakh, 10 lakh or 1 crore. What’s important is to get the contract and play in the league.”
Hazratullah Zazai

If he is bagged by a team in the upcoming auction, Zazai will become the fifth Afghanistan cricketer after Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Zahir Khan and Mujeeb Zadran to get a contract in the Indian T20 league.

The 20-year-old also said that he had been discussing his chances of playing in the IPL with Kabul Zwanan teammate Rashid Khan – who was snapped up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 4 crores.

“I asked Rashid whether I have a chance at getting into the IPL. He said, there’s an 80 or 90 percent chance. He also tells me to be confident, and says self-confidence is important.”
Hazratullah Zazai

“Since I’ve been playing cricket, I believe in myself, and that keeps me energetic,” he added.

(This story was first published on 29 November 2018 and has been updated and reposted from The Quint's archives to mark Zazai’s record-setting 162 against Ireland.)

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