The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Noor Ahmed Lakanwal; future star of world cricket

In the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, like other years, Afghan cricket players performed very well this time, but a young player Noor Ahmed Lakanwal attracted the attention of the world more than others. Noor Ahmed Lakhanwal, 18, is called “Koh-e-Noor” by Indian fans, was playing for the Gujarat Titans team. He played a very important role in the team’s victories along with another Afghan player, Rashid Khan. Gujarat team captain Hardik Pandya says that Lakanwal is young but a talented cricketer and most batsmen cannot play his ball. “Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed both speak the same language ‘Pashto’. There is no one better than Rashid to instruct Noor. They know what to do, if necessary, I talk to them but most of the time they better know what to do,” Pandya added. Long before Noor arrived on the Indian soil, bought by the Titans at his base price INR 35 lakh in 2022. Lakanwal by participating in 13 matches took 16 wickets and played very well for his team. He was already a star back home in Afghanistan where he is hailed as a teen sensation, the next big thing in country’s cricket, second only to Rashid Khan. “Noor Ahmed will be the future star of world cricket,” Ahmadzai says in a documentary, shared by the Afghan cricket official, who collaborated on the project about Noor’s rise to prominence. “He is of course one of the natural talents of Afghanistan cricket. His hard work and dedication and love for the game will make him a big player in future,” Ahmadzai said. “Rashid is giving him more confidence by playing with him.” Rashid himself is all praise for his young colleague, who has only played one ODI and one T20I for Afghanistan. “It’s great to have him in the side and sharing the bowling partnership with him since last year. That kid, he just wants to learn and he’s working so hard. Last year the way he was working, bowling lots in the nets, kept asking the questions. Noor hails from a village called Lakan, his last name Lakanwal having been inherited from the village name. His wellto-do family had always prioritised education over cricket. Noor, a school-topper, was encouraged by his elder brother to take up the sport and evolved as a left-arm wrist spinner after trying various other trades. “Initially a mixed bowler, doing everything, including fast bowling. But suddenly he started bowling leg-break,” his elder brother Ejaz Ahmad says in the documentary. Father Mohammad Amir would discourage Noor to play cricket, insisting that he focus on his studies but brother Ejaz would convince the father to let the boy follow his passion because he has the talent and ability to represent his country. “I love my country more than my parents,” says Noor in the video, with father himself acknowledging that he is proud of his son for bringing laurels to the country. Lakan is a village in Khost, one of the 34 provinces in the country in the south-eastern part of Afghanistan. His home village is “a very backward place in terms of services such as education, health, infrastructure, etc.” The only thing that is better in Lakan than Kabul is the weather in Noor’s village that does not see the snow that the capital city experiences. It is worth mentioning that in this year’s IPL, Rashid Khan also had good achievements and performed well for his team as he took 27 wickets in 17 games, and in one of the match, he just gave 30 run, but out four players. In this year’s IPL, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Navinul Haq and Fazil Haq Farooqi also performed and played well. Samiullah Momand

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.