Afghanistan's Mujeeb ur Rahman in action for Kings XI Punjab against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 VIVO IPL - Image by Kings XI Punjab @lionsdenkxip (Twitter)

It just keeps getting better and better for Afghanistan’s young mystery spinner, Mujeeb ur Rahman in 2018. After impressing each and everyone around the globe in ICC U-19 Asian Qualifiers, ACC U-19 Asia Cup & ICC U-19 World Cup, Mujeeb was fast-tracked into the Afghanistan’s national squad in Dec 2017 for their ODI series against Ireland.

A month later, Mujeeb found himself in the pick-list during the VIVO IPL Auctions, as he eventually got picked up by Kings XI Punjab for the 2018 season. And what a season it has been for him so far, having taken 14 dismissals in 11 games so far for the Preity Zinta owned franchise. Mujeeb has taken 35 wickets in 15 ODI’s and two wickets in two T20I’s so far and was the joint highest wicket-taker with 17 scalps in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in Mar 2018 along with country-mate Rashid Khan and Scotland’s Safyaan Sharif.

“Mujeeb has sort of burst onto the scene over the last six months,” Hampshire director of cricket Giles White told BBC Radio Solent.

“He’s been one of the finds of the IPL, so he comes in great form. I think he’s one of the leading bowlers in the IPL and he brings something completely different. Not a lot of guys will have faced him.”

With Afghanistan not having any International commitments during the 2018 Vitality Blast duration, Mujeeb will be available for the entire season for Hampshire and it will be big boost for the club’s fortunes in the Blast campaign. Sussex and Leicestershire had already signed up Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi respectively for the Blast season and with all three set to play across various venues in the UK, it also provides a good opportunity for the trio to experience English conditions well ahead of Afghanistan’s participation in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in the same country.

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