Afghanistan’s young spinner, Noor Ahmad, has given his senior teammate, Rashid Khan, the nickname “Google Khan” following their recent victory over Rajasthan Royals. The Gujarat Titans, defending champions of the IPL, secured a nine-wicket win over the Sanju Samson-led side, thanks in part to the excellent performances of their spinners, Noor Ahmad and Rashid Khan. The pair bowled a web around the Royals’ middle order, with Noor Ahmad picking up two wickets for just 15 runs and Rashid Khan taking three for 14. Noor Ahmad spoke highly of his teammate, saying, “Especially when I have Rashid Khan in my side. He is (my) Google Khan.”
Noor Ahmad, just 18 years old, was discovered during Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) open selection trial in Kabul in 2018. Despite going unsold in the IPL auctions of 2019 and 2020, his impressive performance in the 2019 U-19 Asia Cup caught the attention of the Melbourne Renegades, who signed him up for the 2020-21 season of the Big Bash League. Noor Ahmad’s hard work paid off when he was picked up by the Gujarat Titans for INR 30 lakhs in the 2022 mega auction. Although he didn’t get to play in the Titans’ title-winning campaign, he has made an impact in the current season, accounting for 10 dismissals in six games at an economy rate of 7.03.
Rashid Khan, who has been a mentor to Noor Ahmad, praised the young spinner’s hard work and dedication. “He is already a consistent and hard-working guy. Someone like who works very hard off the field. Since last year when we were together, it was the first time that I spent a long time with him.” Rashid Khan also spoke about Noor Ahmad’s eagerness to learn, saying, “He (Noor Ahmad) asked me questions anywhere. While eating, while training, in gym, while traveling, everywhere he asks me questions, which is great and he is learning.”
The Gujarat Titans are currently at the top of the points table with seven wins in 10 matches. They will face Lucknow Super Giants in their next fixture on Sunday, May 7, in Ahmedabad. With the likes of Noor Ahmad and Rashid Khan in their squad, the Titans will be hoping to continue their winning streak and defend their title.