Cricket has been fascinating to its lovers in the most bizarre ways, showing its various adornments in different shapes and sizes.
We have seen greats of the game falter at the biggest stage while the most unexpected of them all has calmly steered their teams to unfathomable glory. A story of similar ilk is what you will read across today’s article.
We will look at 5 players who could have made themselves a fortune, had they been from those nations where the sport supersedes any other emotion, but ended up as tragic heroes due to lesser commitments or probably lack of prowess from his comrades. However, when it came to county or franchise cricket, these stars stood out significantly to prove their worth in the international arcade.
1. Rashid Khan:
Hailing all the way from Afghanistan where bloodshed is like a diurnal spectacle and people are always seeking means of freedom, Rashid Khan stood up as a flag-bearer of emancipation through his bowling wizardry.
Despite being one of the best spinners of the world at the moment, with some beguiling and magical spin up his sleeves, Rashid really couldn’t make headway for himself in the international circuit as Afghanistan isn’t really a big name in cricket.
However, when this same man pitches himself in franchise cricket, he is a giant that every captain wants in his side.
His appearance in franchise cricket came through Sunrisers Hyderabad, who impressed with magical bowling, roped him in for Rs 4 crores. His first IPL venture finished with 17 wickets.
With his prominence in Indian Premier League, he shortly started hogging the limelight and Guyana Amazon Warriors notched him up. He went on to notch up the first hattrick of Caribbean Premier League.
His rise to the zenith simply seemed insuperable as the next stop for this Afghani cricketer was Australia. Roped in by Adelaide Strikers, he went on to win the Big Bash League with a pivotal contribution. Rashid has five hattricks in Big Bash League until date.
He also shared a stint with Quetta Gladiators for a season in the Pakistan Super League.
After once again getting his routine call for IPL, he was also signed by Sussex County Cricket Club to play in the Natwest T-20 blast.
He was also announced as the Icon player for Kabul Zwanan and ended up being the best player of the tournament.
It seemed that Rashid was in no mood to be spared from any cricketing activity across the world as he was named in the Durban Heat’s squad for the opening edition of the Mzansi Super League T20 tournament.
He was also chosen to be a part of Rotterdam Rhinos in the maiden edition of Euro T20 Slam cricket.
2. Ryan Ten Doeschate:
The Kolkata fans will remember this Dutch cricketer for a quite a long time as he was a crucial all-rounder, playing an instrumental role in shaping up the team’s middle order.
His bowling skills were also noteworthy as he provided crucial breakthroughs under the toughest of circumstances.
After sharing relatively smaller stints with Mashonaland Eagles, Canterbury and Tasmania, the Dutch maestro showed to the world that where he could have been, only if he would have received significant suppirt from his national comrades.
He spent four years with Kolkata Knight Riders, where he kept on improving with every passing match.
He has also played for teams like Impi, Otago, Chittagong Kings, Gazi Tank Cricketers, Adelaide Strikers, Dhaka Dynamites, Karachi Kings, Comilla Victorians, Rajshahi Kings and Lahore Qalandars. The number of teams is a burning testimony to his greatness in franchise cricket.
3. Mohammad Shahzad:
The second Afghani cricketer to make a cut for this list is Mohammad Shahzad.
Though he has been repeatedly lampooned for his unfit physique, he is a hard-hitter right at the opening of the innings that every captain would love to have.
Since 2014, he has been a part of several franchises whose description of a big hitter fitted accurately in the Afghani cricketer’s pyrotechnics.
Much to the amazement of every one, he is also a brilliant wicket keeper. Though his keeping dexterity bloomed late, it still has considerable sting in it. These abilities made the franchises look at him as a considerable moniker in their ranks.
His T-20 ventures include stints with Boost Defenders, Band-e-Amir Dragons, Kabul Eagles, Speen Ghar Tigers, Rangpur Riders, Chittagong Vikings, Paktia Panthers, Rangpur Rangers and Chitwan.
4. Sandeep Lamichhane:
Though Nepal is pretty much of a non-existent identity in the cricketing canon, this leg-break bowler has drawn considerable fanfare towards him.
After Delhi Capitals roped him in for Indian Premier League in 2018, this young lad has been called up for all the major franchise-based tournaments of the world.
He shortly got calls from St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, followed by Nangarhar Leopards and Melbourne Stars.
His continental fame included Sylhet Sixers and Lahore Qalandars. He was also picked to play for the Caribbean Premier League as he was roped in by Barbados Tridents.
With age on his side, Sandeep has miles to go ahead of him.
5. Paul Stirling:
One of the brightest Irish prospects, Paul Stirling is an absolute beast at the top of the innings.
An all rounder known for his ability to hammer the bowlers at will and also his bowling sparks, Stirling is a significant moniker in the franchise household.
With a career that has spanned in county and franchise cricket for 10 years now, Paul Stirling made himself a fair bit of recognition playing for Middlesex.
He then shortly started exploring the ranks of Sylhet Royals, Chitwan Tigers, Khulna Titans and Northamptonshire.
Though he is still to play in the prestigious Indian Premier League, with the brand of performances that he has been delivering for a decennium now, it won’t be long before an IPL franchise shortly comes calling.