One of the powerful dialogues, of the many, in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is based on Bruce Wayne, incarcerated in a no man’s land prison frustratingly working out, even as his back is broken by Bane, his nemesis. His inmate in the dark dungeon-like place, where only despair echoes, asks Bruce, who is hurriedly working on his muscles, “Why are you upset!”
The Batman’s alter ego replies back without batting an eyelid, “I’m not worried or upset; am angry as my city burns whilst I am here!”
In a single statement of exchange between two prisoners, one gets to feel the angst and frustration of a superhero who finds himself helpless by what’s happening to his homeland.
Well, it was Gotham in the case of the Batman, but where things are, at present, it’s all of Afghanistan for none other than Rashid Khan, a hero of sorts, albeit one who’s miles away in the balmy comfort of England whilst his country burns all thanks to the Taliban.
Life for Rashid Khan, star for many, a dubious character for some, has been tough. It has been anything but a bed of roses.
In the period of last two and a half years, he lost both his parents. Currently, he’s millions of miles away from seeing any other family member who are stuck in a ring of fire called Taliban-esque Afghanistan.
Yet, what’s heroic, truth be told, about Rashid Khan is that he continues to play with unfettered excellence in the very white-ball league that has caught the imagination of the whole world: The Hundred.
As a matter of fact, a few hours back, the Trent Rockets star rocketed his team to a brilliant victory.
Of his 20 deliveries, of which 11 were dots, he conceded only 11 runs whilst taking 3 great wickets.
Rashid Khan’s success story - A tale of triumph above all odds
In a country where nearly every single day was bludgeoned by chaos and bloodshed, Rashid Khan emerged as the poster boy of cricket in a country where there was little hope for sports stars to emerge.
Today, he’s the poster boy of leg spin, an art he’s made the cricket-adoring public fall in love with. Someone who played backyard cricket and never really had the privilege of going to elite schools or having a coach spot his talent as a toddler, Khan honed the skills that today the world admires by largely practicing on his own, wearing slippers when those from stable financial backgrounds played cricket in right sporting gear.
His is a tale of triumph above all odds and hope flourishing amid despair. That is where, each of his 269 wickets in the game (including all three formats) become laudable and worthy of our respect.
At 22, Rashid Khan is already sitting on 140 ODI dismissals and is just 5 away from hitting a century of wickets in cricket’s most entertaining format- the T20Is.
Yet, what must be confessed, albeit with a bit of agony, is that soon when Khan, renowned for his penchant for bowling one dot ball too many (thus increasing the pressure on batsmen), would have clinched his 100th T20I dismissal, he’d not be encouraged to celebrate.
Not because of a torrid personal loss, but down to the fact that he’d feel aggrieved since nothing would have changed back in the country that brought him close to cricket: Afghanistan.
That’s precisely where one is at a loss of words. All of the work that had been done, whether by aid agencies, security networks, and military forces in all these years to rescue an embattled country has gone down the drain with Taliban regaining control over a country it’s sworn to destroy, for no rhyme or reason.