IPL 2021: Who is Afghanistan's teen sensation Noor Ahmad?
Afghanistan's left-arm wrist-spinner Noor Ahmad is the youngest player in this year's IPL auction pool. He has set his base price at Rs. 20 lakh ahead of the impending player auction on February 18. Earlier this year, the 16-year-old made history by playing in Australia's premier T20 tournament, the Big Bash League. Here is all you need to know about him.
Noor idolizes leg-spinner Rashid Khan
Noor Ahmad Lakanwal, who hails from Afghanistan, was born in 2005. According to an Afghanistan Cricket Board documentary that features him, he idolizes star leg-spinner Rashid Khan for his bowling style. Noor started playing professionally for the Herat province's Under-16 team in the Alokozay provincial tournament in 2017. Over a year later, he entered the First-class arena.
Noor's domestic journey started in 2019
Noor made his First-class debut in April 2019, playing in the Ahmad Shah Abdali four-day Tournament for Kabul. The match ended in a draw, but the Chinaman snapped up four wickets. Later that year, Noor played his debut T20 match for Mis Ainak Knights in the Shpageeza Cricket League. He made his List A debut for Mis Ainak Region in 2020.
He impressed in the 2019 Shpageeza League
In the 2019 Shpageeza League, Noor earned the Emerging Player of the Year award playing for Mis Ainak Knights. He picked up eight wickets in seven games at an economy of 6.48 in his first edition.
Noor made his presence felt at the Under-19 WC
In 2019, Noor broke into the Afghanistan Under-19 side and represented the team on youth ODI tours to Sri Lanka and India. Eventually, he was named in Afghanistan's 15-man squad for the 2020 Under-19 World Cup. At the grand stage, Noor scalped seven wickets from five games at an economy of 3.39. This included best figures of 3/30 against UAE (group-stage encounter).
The youngest to feature in Big Bash League
In 2020, Noor narrowly missed out on playing in the CPL despite being drafted in by St Lucia Zouks. He couldn't secure a transit visa to pass through the UK, and travel further. However, he was picked in the Melbourne Renegades squad for the 2020/21 BBL. He made his BBL debut against Hobart Hurricanes (1/27), the youngest (15y, 350d) in the tournament's history.
Will Noor secure an IPL contract?
The left-arm wrist-spinner could be an x-factor for any franchise in the Indian Premier League. Interestingly, Noor was also enlisted in the 2020 IPL player auction at his base price of Rs. 30 lakh. However, he went unsold. Reigning champions Mumbai Indians, who have four overseas slots to fill, might have an eye on him this time as they lack quality spinners.