New Delhi. Rashid Khan’s rise to stardom has been one of cricket’s most heartwarming stories in recent years, after emerging from a country with permanent political turmoil like Afghanistan and becoming arguably the best spinner in the world. . The wrist spinner has not only made his mark on the international stage but has also made a name for himself in various franchise T20 leagues across the world over the years. One of them is the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he has been performing exceptionally well for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) over the years.
Although Rashid is very talented, but due to his hard work on his game and fitness, he has developed so much. Like various top athletes around the world, the 23-year-old had to sacrifice a lot to establish himself among the stalwarts in the game of cricket, which included a change in his lifestyle. Rashid Khan insisted that improving his fitness has been a key factor in improving his consistency as a player, which he realized only after playing in the IPL for the first time in 2017.
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While talking to ESPNcricinfo ‘Cricket Monthly’ he said, “Before 2017, when I played IPL for the first time, my consistency was not that good and the reason was my fitness. After playing a few games my body was not ready for the next few matches and hence the performances were not coming. But since the 2017 IPL, I have seen how players take care of their fitness.
‘Probably went to gym even before coming to IPL’
He further said, “I hardly used to go to the gym before that. Coming from Afghanistan, it is very difficult to understand these things. When you don’t have access to see how important fitness is. It’s more cricket than fitness there.” Rashid also spoke about the drastic changes he has made in his diet to stay fit. He said, “I used to eat so much unhealthy food – like biryani, bread and sweets, but after the 2017 IPL, I have stopped all that. Now mostly I eat barbecue or grilled food with salad. I decided if I wanted to be the best and if I wanted to improve my skills, I had to be fitter.
‘Biryani, bread and sweets are completely closed’
He said, “For a few years, I completely stopped eating biryani, bread and sweets. I do cheat day only once a month or when I decide. But I go to the gym everyday. If I can’t go to the gym, I don’t eat properly. As long as I can do my workout, I can eat well. This kind of mindset should be there in every cricketer, because it is our job and we have to be fully committed to it. As long as you are fully committed, the performance will speak for itself.”
Rashid Khan is currently with the Afghanistan national team for the 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.