From Rashid Khan to Azmatullah Omarzai — Afghanistan cricketers in the IPL

The IPL started back in 2008 and has helped several players make a name for themselves in top-level cricket, and one of the top names has been Rashid Khan from Afghanistan. The tournament has become a platform for Afghanistan cricketers to arrive and show their talent on a world stage.

In the last 15 years, Afghan cricket has produced plenty of talents. Since 2017, cricketers from the Asian country have been plying their trade in the IPL.

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Recently, Afghanistan gained praise for the way they played in the World Cup 2023 where they defeated England and Pakistan. The focus will be on their players in IPL 2024.

Afghanistan cricketers in the IPL
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All Afghanistan cricketers in the IPL

Rashid Khan

Back in 2017, Sunrisers Hyderabad bought 18-year-old Rashid Khan for INR 4 crore and it started the journey for Afghanistan cricketers in the IPL. In 14 games, he picked up 17 wickets at an economy rate of 6.62 and gave a glimpse into the future. Since then, Rashid has not looked back and is currently one of the most dangerous bowlers in the IPL.

In 109 matches in the IPL, Rashid has picked up 139 wickets at an economy rate of 6.66 with 2 four-wicket hauls to his name. Moreover, he has scored 443 runs at an average of 13.84 and a strike-rate of 166.54 with a top score of 79 to his name.

After playing 5 seasons for the Sunrisers, Rashid moved to the Gujarat Giants in 2022 when he won the title under Hardik Pandya. He also captained the team when Hardik missed matches. Still relatively young, Rashid can end up setting massive records in the IPL.

Mohammad Nabi

Mohmammad Nabi joined Sunrisers Hyderabad back in 2017 and is still an active cricketer in the IPL. In 17 matches across 5 seasons, the Afghanistan veteran scored 180 runs at an average of 15 and a strike-rate of 151.2 with a top score of 31 to her name. He has also picked up 13 wickets at an economy rate of 7.14 with a 4-wicket haul.

Back in 2022, Nabi was with the Nitish Rana-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), but he did not get a chance to play. Last season he did not find a buyer after which five-time champions Mumbai Indians bought him for IPL 2024 at a price of INR 1.50 crore.

At the age of 39, Nabi is still going strong in top-level cricket. That he has scored 5674 runs and picked up 343 show how effective he has been in T20 cricket.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Back in 2018, Mujeeb Ur Rahman joined the Kings XI Punjab, now Punjab Kings, in the IPL. In 19 matches since then, he has picked up 19 wickets at an economy rate of 8.18. Despite being a globetrotter for several T20 teams, Mujeeb has not featured a lot in the IPL unlike his Afghanistan teammates.

In the 2024 auction, the Knight Riders bought Mujeeb for INR 2 crore. Along with the likes of Suyash Sharma and Sunil Narine, Mujeeb can pose a massive threat to the opponents with his guile. In 240 T20 matches, Mujeeb has picked up 256 wickets at an economy rate of 6.76 with 2 five-wicket hauls.

Noor Ahmad

Back in 2022, Gujarat Giants bought a young Noor Ahmad, who did not get to play a single match that season. Last year, he made his debut against the Rajasthan Royals at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad after being picked as an Impact Player.

From there on, he became an integral member of the team after he finished with 16 wickets from 13 matches at an economy rate of 7.82. In the Giants, he got Rashid Khan as his mentor and that helped him grow as a cricketer.

In the upcoming season, it should not spring a surprise if she plays right from the very first match. In 83 T20 matches, Noor has taken 88 wickets with a 4-wicket haul and a 5-wicket haul.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Rahmanullah Gurbaz joined the Gujarat Titans in 2022, but he had to warm the bench throughout. Ahead of the 2023 IPL edition, the Kolkata Knight Riders bought him in a trade with the Titans. He made his debut for the Men in Gold and Purple and did not look back.

In 11 matches in 2023, Gurbaz scored 227 runs at an average of 20.64 and a strike-rate of 133.50 with 2 half-centuries to show for his efforts. He got his top score when he racked up 81 runs off 39 balls against the Titans in Ahmedabad.

It also happened to be the highest score by the Afghanistan batter in the history of the IPL. In 163 T20 matches, Gurbaz has scored 3976 runs with 2 hundreds and 25 fifties to his name.

IPL 2024 Schedule

Fazalhaq Farooqi

Back in 2022, Sunrisers Hyderabad bought left-arm fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi at his base price of INR 50 lakhs. Since then, he has been with the Orange Army. In 7 matches until now in the IPL, the southpaw has taken 6 wickets at an economy rate of 8.96.

Although Farooqi does not have great records in the IPL, he has made an impact while playing for Afghanistan and other teams around the world. In 71 T20 matches since his debut back in 2019, Farooqi has picked up 87 wickets with 2 four-wicket hauls.

Azmatullah Omarzai IPL Afghanistan
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Azmatullah Omarzai  

Azmatullah Omarzai has taken is game to a whole new level altogether since playing in the ODI World Cup on Indian soil last year. In 9 matches back then, Omarzai scored 353 runs at an average of 70.60 and a strike-rate of 97.78 with 3 fifties and a top score of 97 not out to his name.

Omarzai did not let his team down even with the ball in hand. The fast bowler picked up 7 wickets at an economy rate of 7.10. In the IPL auction, the Titans roped her in at a base of INR 50 lakhs. He will be playing alongside Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, and other big names. 


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India