Bengaluru: Afghanistan cricket broke a new barrier when Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan became the first from the war-torn nation to be picked in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, in Bengaluru on Monday.
Both Nabi and Khan were bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad, for Rs 30 lakh and Rs 4 crore respectively. Five cricketers from Afghanistan were included in the auction for the first time.
It was a bit surprising that seasoned all-rounder Nabi was snapped up at his base price while leg-spinner Khan got the benefit of a bidding war between Sunrisers and Mumbai Indians and was eventually sold for eight times his base price.
Both players are currently with the national team in Zimbabwe.
"Feeling on top of the world, being selected for Team @SunRisers @IPL auction. Tnx for your love & support," Nabi tweeted shortly after getting the big news.
"Flooded with hapinness today not only for myself but rather for our junior rocking player#Rashidarman being selected for @SunRisers. @IPL," read another of his posts.
A batting all-rounder who is also effective with his off-spin was keenly tracking the auction alongside Khan and the rest of the players.
While Khan doesn't have experience of playing T20 leagues, Nabi has played in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Sylhet Royals in Bangladesh.
Eighteen-year-old Khan, known for his googly, has 62 international wickets to his name, 31 each in ODIs and T20Is.
Nabi is one of the senior-most Afghanistan cricketers, having represented the country in 72 ODIs and 52 T20Is.
Afghanistan's entry into the cash-rich IPL is a reflection of their gradual growth in international cricket. The team qualified for the World T20 in the last four editions and made its 50-over World Cup debut in Australia two years ago.
Updated Date: Feb 20, 2017 18:02 PM