Arshad Khan, the 25-year-old all-rounder, first attracted the attention of Mumbai Indians' scouts back in 2022. Arshad Khan's age didn't hinder his dreams but fueled his ambitions. Hailing from the modest town of Gopalganj in Seoni district, Madhya Pradesh, Arshad found himself donning the Mumbai Indians cap a year ago.
The Mumbai Indians had a big task ahead of them for IPL 2023. They needed to find someone who could step into the shoes of their star bowler, Jasprit Bumrah. This situation became a golden opportunity for Arshad Khan. His skills as an all-rounder made him the perfect fit to help the team balance their fast bowling department.
Mumbai Indians signed Arshad for his base price of INR 20 lakh in the 2022 mega auction. Unfortunately, an injury benched him for the entire season. His domestic teammate, Kumar Kartikeya, replaced him. Arshad Khan stats may have been absent that season, but his spirit was not. He returned to Seoni and began coaching local kids for free during his recovery.
"Arshad never gives up," says his coach, Abdul Kalam. Arshad Khan's commitment to the game is so strong that he would travel 300 km from Seoni to Jabalpur to play cricket. Waking up at 3 a.m. was a small price to pay for his love of the game.
Arshad Khan first got noticed when he became the top wicket-taker in the Under-25 CK Nayudu Trophy during the 2019-20 season. Not only did Arshad Khan snag 36 wickets, but he also scored 400 runs. One of his standout performances was against Mumbai, which likely caught the eye of the Mumbai Indians' scouts, contributing to his retention this year.
His family has always been his biggest cheerleaders. When Arshad Khan was first picked for Mumbai Indians, his home became a celebration spot for the entire village. "It was as if a festival had come to our home," recalls his elder brother, Zakaria.
Arshad Khan's father, Ashfaque, spotted his son's talent early on. He balanced his work as an educator and a coach at the Seoni District Cricket Association to ensure Arshad got the best cricketing education. Ashfaque was the first to recognize his son's talent and was willing to invest in his cricket kit despite his modest income.
Under Coach Abdul Kalam's guidance, Arshad Khan evolved from a left-handed batter to an all-rounder. During a match in Jabalpur, he was handed the new ball and impressed everyone with his inswing and outswing. "That was the day Arshad Khan took his game to another level," recalls Kalam.
Arshad Khan played for Reliance 1 in the DY Patil T20 Cup earlier this year. He not only took wickets but also made valuable contributions with the bat. His stats in this tournament surely add to Arshad Khan's growing reputation as a reliable all-rounder.
And that, folks, is the inspiring tale of Arshad Khan. From a small town in Madhya Pradesh to the grand stages of the IPL, his journey is a testament to talent, hard work, and an unbreakable spirit.
How did Arshad Khan get into the Mumbai Indians team?
Arshad Khan caught the eye of the Mumbai Indians' scouts in 2022. He was signed for his base price of INR 20 lakh but had to sit out due to an injury.
What was Arshad Khan's breakthrough performance?
Arshad first gained attention as the top wicket-taker in the Under-25 CK Nayudu Trophy during the 2019-20 season. He took 36 wickets and scored 400 runs.
How supportive has Arshad Khan's family been in his cricket journey?
His family, especially his father Ashfaque, has been immensely supportive. Despite a limited income, Ashfaque invested in Arshad's cricketing future, identifying his talent from a young age.