IPL 2020: 14-year-old Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad in auction pool

Afghanistan's 14-year-old chinaman bowler Noor Ahmad was recently part of the U-19 national team for the tour of India.

Afghanistan's 15-year-old bowler Noor Ahmad.   -  Twitter @LakanwalNoor

Noor Ahmad Lakanwal is just 14 years, 344 days old and he is now the youngest cricketer to be part of the Indian Premier League auction.

A chinaman bowler, Noor is a regular member of the Afghanistan U-19 team. He was one of the most successful bowlers in the U-19 Asia Cup, taking eight wickets.

Like off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran, Noor hails from the Khost Province. He was first spotted by former Afghanistan captain and the national selector Raees Ahmadzai last year. “I saw him for the first time during U-19 trails. When I become the head coach of U-19 I picked him and he did very well. I so impressed [by] his bowling,” Ahmadzai told Sportstar from Kabul on Friday.

Ahmadzai also picked Noor for the U-19 Quadrangular Series in India in March this year. As the year progressed, Noor proved his mettle; he emerged as the Emerging Cricketer in the Sphageeza League — Afghanistan's franchise-based domestic tournament.

Early spark

“When I saw him I realised that this guy will soon shine at the highest level. The way he was bowling, especially the wrong one to [the] right-handed batsman, was great to watch,” Ahmadzai said.

In the recently-concluded series against India U-19s in Lucknow, Noor impressed. He claimed nine wickets in the five-match series which India won 3-2.

Read | IPL 2020: Three U-19 Indians who could start bidding war at final auction

Noor is also one of the key members of the Afghanistan squad for the U-19 World Cup, which begins in South Africa next month.

Ahmadzai feels an IPL contract will be a big career boost for Noor. Noor is among the seven Afghanistan players registered in the auction. The others are Mohammad Sahazad, Zahir Khan, Karim Janat, Waqar Salamkheil, Qais Ahmad and Navin ul Haq.

“IPL auction will give lots of confidence and it will help our team in [the] World Cup,” Ahmadzai said.

It has been learnt that Noor was one of the bowlers who was called for a trial with Rajasthan Royals. As the auction gets underway in Kolkata on December 19, the young chinaman bowler will be hoping to make his presence felt.

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