Afghanistan is one country which has grown drastically in the sport of cricket in the past few years. The credit goes to a few players who have emerged from the domestic circuit at a young age and made headlines. After teenage sensations — leg spinner Rashid Khan and 16-year-old off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran — another teenager Baheer Mahboob Shah has been making headlines.
The teenage sensation has surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s batting average in First-Class cricket. Bradman’s batting average in First-Class cricket is 95.14 as compared to Shah who has a whopping batting average of 121.77 in First-Class cricket. In just 7 matches (12 innings), the batsman has scored 1,096 runs which include a triple hundred.
The 18-year-old made his professional debut in style, scoring 256 runs and helping his side win by an innings. He has scored 5 centuries and 2 half-centuries in his career span of 1 year and 2 months already.
His score of 256 is also the second highest score in the history of First-Class cricket after former Indian cricketer Amol Muzumdar’s 260.
Here’s what Shah had to say about his debut innings while talking to International Cricket Council (ICC),
“That was an unforgettable moment for me. I stayed at the wicket for two days, staying very comfortable. I worked on my fitness before the tournament, and the coaches taught me how to bat well. For everyone whenever they get the best score in their life it’s a very enjoyable, exciting moment.”
He is also the second-youngest player to score a triple-hundred in First-Class cricket (18 years, 251 days) after former Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad who is the youngest (17 years, 310 days).
He also has the best batting average in First-Class cricket (among cricketers scoring a minimum of 1,000 runs)
Shah would have been the fastest had rain not played spoilsport in one of the games where he remained not-out for a score of 9 runs.
“It’s difficult to get the opportunity play for our domestic sides, so I’m very thankful for my family and for my friends and my head coach for their support. I only thought I would try my best for my side, so to get 1,000 runs was amazing.”
Baheer Shah has been selected in Afghanistan’s Under-19 team as well. He did well in the warm-up match against Bangladesh as well by scoring a crucial knock of 44 runs from 60 balls.
I’ve started very well in the warm-up matches in Napier. They were good sides with first-class players, but we played four matches and won all four. It’s a very good chance for every youngster to promote his career so I’m trying very hard to have a good performance in this World Cup.
— Afghan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) December 29, 2017
He was the Best Batsman in the #Abdalifct2017 , is part of the #Afgu19stars playing in ICC #U19CWC.
But did you know he even broke Sir Donald Bradman’s record?
Meet one of Afghanistan’s #FutureStars, Bahir Shah Mahboob.
— Afghan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) January 9, 2018
He also talked about playing in challenging situations such as in New Zealand and revealed that his favourite cricketer is Hashim Amla.
— ICC (@ICC) January 9, 2018
With the young crop of players setting milestones already, Afghanistan seems to be ready to make it’s mark in international cricket. We might see a few nerve-wrecking games and not just a few offbeat upsets from Afghanistan in the 2018.