Bengaluru, December 17: Noor Ahmad Lakanwal is still may not be a household name. But this 14-year-old Afghanistan bowler, who has already turned several heads with his left-arm wrist spin, is bound to become one if he continues his rapid progress through the ranks.
Noor Ahmad already had undergone trial with Rajasthan Royals after impressive performances, Rahul Dravid is one of the many who was left impressed, in the Under-19 Asia Cup and during the recent tour to India with Afghanistan Under-19. He is in the IPL 2020 auction pool and is one of the youngest ever -- the youngest crickete, in this edition of the auctuion -- player to be drafted into the mix.
Now, Noor Ahmad could potentially earn a call from one of the IPL teams on Thursday (December 19), the auction day at Kolkata and in a chat with MyKhel he hoped that it will be one of the stepping stones into a brighter future.
Q: How was experience in the U19 Asia Cup? You took 4 wickets against India...
It was a great experience for me and to take four wickets in that one match for not many runs against high quality batsmen, it was a wonderful feeling.
Q: You toured India last month with Afghanistan Under-19 team and took 9 wickets. How helpful it was to play against a side like India and what have you learned?
India under-19 is the best side in the world at that age group and they have high quality batsmen and it was a great learning experience playing against them.
Q: How tough it was bowling against Indian batsmen, adept in playing spin?
Yes, India has great batting qualities and I was proud of myself that I still showed myself in a good light by using my different variations, and with good speed too. They were struggling against my bowling!
Q: Since you are in the IPL auction, how eager are you to play in the IPL? And do you think it will help you grow as a bowler?
The IPL is the number one league around the world so it is my dream to play IPL along with so many highly-ranked players. The experience would give me lots of confidence, hopefully, going forwards.
Q: You had a trial with Rajasthan Royals, how did it go?
The trial with Rajasthan Royals was good. I just enjoyed myself and felt I bowled well.
Q: During the U19 tour, did you meet someone like Rahul Dravid or any other senior Indian cricketer? How was the experience?
Yes, you're right! Rahul Dravid was there and he saw my bowling and he was very impressed, which motivated me a lot. It helps your confidence when a legend like that shows faith in what you do.
Q: Your role model?
Rashid Khan is my role model, but I also enjoyed playing with the great Mohammad Nabi recently when we won a domestic T20 event together.
Q: How have you taken interest in cricket and was it tough for you to pursue cricket in Afghanistan?
I was watching cricket matches and playing with own family members. Then I saw Rashid Khan and was trying to copy his style, but the difference was that he was bowling with his right hand and I am bowling with my left. I tried to bowl googlies and leg breaks. Finally, it clicked and now I am bowling very effectively.
Q: A lot of Afghan players like Rashid Khan, Nabi, Mujeeb ur Rahman etc are made their mark in international cricket and in IPL. Have you had a chance to talk with them and how helpful the chat was?
I talked with Rashid, Mohammad Nabi and many more senior players of the Afghanistan team and they have all motivated me and guided me. Their experience was very helpful for me.