Afghanistan cricket's unprecedented rise is nothing short of a fairytale.
The cricketing journey which began in 2008 with Afghanistan entering the World Cricket League Division 5 has hit a new high after achieving the Test status. En route, they impressed in the World Twenty20 in 2010 before going on to becoming the top-ranked Associate nation in 2012.
Cricket has proved to be the biggest unifier in the war-torn country with the cricketers hailed as national heroes. None bigger than 19-year-old Rashid Khan, who has made his name across the world, bamboolzing the batsmen with his zippy leg-spinners and googlies.
Another sensation who has shown immense promise in the short career so far is Baheer Shah, who has amassed 1096 runs in first class cricket at a staggering average of 121.77.
So if next time someone asks you who has the highest first-class average for players to have scored more than 1000 runs, the answer is Baheer Shah and not Sir Don Bradman.
Shah remained unbeaten with 256 against his name in his maiden innings in professional cricket, the second highest debut score of all time. At just 17 he became the second youngest cricketer to score a first-class triple century only behind Pakistan great Javed Miandad.
With incredible success in first-class cricket, Shah is now looking to impress at the world stage in the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. Snehal Pradhan recently caught with the teen sensation for Firstpost. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
"We are living in Afghanistan from my childhood, when our national team achieved success in the world, I was very happy for them," Shah said. "And now I am very happy to play cricket. I am from Kunar Province and Nangarhar Province. At the start everything seemed difficult but then step-by-step I followed the senior players. I followed playing cricket and now I am at a very big stage. (I) didn't have any support from our family, as the family members were very educated and asked me to play only during the holidays but my hobby was to play cricket and I wanted to play for my country.
Baheer also stressed on the importance of education by saying, "When I was in school, I was very intelligent. In my 12th standard, I stood third and after that I started playing cricket and then I left studying (shrugs). (But) whenever I go back to home, I play cricket and study too, as both are very important."
Watch the above video for full interview