Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s leading leg-spinner, recalled a 15-minute session he had with late cricket legend Shane Warne. The two met in 2019 during a Test match between Tim Paine’s Australia and New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Khan has on several occassions called Warne his idol. The 23-year-old is arguably the best leg-spinner from the current lot and will represent the Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022.
Recalling the training session he had with Warne three years ago, Khan said that the Aussie great shared key points with him on how he can be effective in the longer formats. The Afghanistan player is currently the fourth-highest wicket-taker in T20Is with 105 scalps against his name.
“Definitely, Shane Warne’s demise is a huge loss for cricketing world. It was a huge shock. I had a great time with him, it was huge for me that he called me to the MCG to have 15-minute session with him during the lunch break of the Australia-New Zealand Test. I was lucky to share the session with him and I learnt so much from him,” Rashid Khan said during a media interaction on Tuesday.
Warne’s family and friends attended a private funeral in his hometown Melbourne to pay their final respects to the cricketing legend last week.
A state memorial at the Melbourne Cricket Ground — the scene of many of Warne’s iconic bowling moments including a hat-trick against England in 1994 and his 700th test wicket on Boxing Day in 2006 — will take place on March 30 and will be open to the public.
“We had discussions on how I will be more effective in the longest format. He happily shared his own experiences with me, he discussed the key points with me and how mindset is important,” Khan added.
Getting into the specifics of the discussion, Rashid Khan said that Warne asked him to be consistent.
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“The only thing he told me is that I do not need to change anything. He just told me to be consistent. He told me that sometimes I will get wickets and sometimes you would not get it for 30-40 overs but that will be the time when I will be really tested mentally and physically,” he further added.
The Afghan player, who represented the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL until last season, said he always wanted to have Warne as a coach.
“I was really looking forward to have him as a head coach and spend some time with him. It was my dream, it is a huge loss and everyone will miss him.”
Khan will be seen in action when the Gujarat Titans kick off their IPL 2022 campaign against the Lucknow Giants on March 28.