The story of Noor Ahmad is one that is told in fairy tales as the 15-year-old spinner from Afghanistan has been selected to play in one of the world’s leading T20 tournaments alongside one of the greatest names in cricket today. Ahmad has been picked in the squad of Melbourne Renegades for the Big Bash League (BBL). He will serve as a replacement for Imran Tahir in the days when he would not be able to join the team as he is only available after Christmas. However, as a replacement or not, getting picked up only at 15 is an inspiring tale. This is amplified as the war-stricken Afghanistan continues to churn out cricketing jewels in the form of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi.
Speaking to BBC Sports, the youngster said he understood that he had talent. Ahmad revealed that he would always play with his elder brothers in his hometown of Khost and them, despite being more experienced and older, would have trouble playing his deliveries. Then he tried out one of the academies. “One of my brothers suggested that I should attend the local cricket academy because he could see my talents. Allah has given me a gift and it is something natural”. The left-arm wrist-spinner then went on to debut in first-class cricket at the age of 14 and also played in Afghanistan’s domestic T20 tournament. It was then only a matter of time that he was spotted by the Melbourne team.
Ahmad’s agent, Richard Sydenham said, “Renegades have been aware of Noor for close on a year so they are excited to give him an opportunity to develop his game and hopefully make a contribution if and when he makes the team”. He added how Nabi being in the same team will help Ahmad hone his skills and better communicate. The teenager has also played in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year. Although Ahmad idolises Rashid Khan, he wishes to carve his own path. “It will be great to be in the same team as him one day if I am given that honour of playing for my national team. But there can be only one Rashid Khan. I will be happy to be Noor Ahmad, his team-mate,” the player added.