Mujeeb is the first cricketer born in the 21st century to make his international debut
Mujeeb picked up four wickets for 24 runs in 10 overs
Afghanistan defeated Ireland by 138 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series
Not many would have heard the name of Mujeeb Zadran, but the teenage sensation is slowly but surely paving his way in cricket and it wouldn't be long before the world takes notice of his talent.
16-year-old off-spinner Mujeeb on Wednesday became the first cricketer born in the 21st century to make his international debut.
Mujeeb picked up four wickets for 24 runs in 10 overs as Afghanistan defeated Ireland by 138 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. He now holds the joint-best figures for an Afghan bowler on ODI debut with Shapoor Zadran.
Put into bat Afghanistan posted a decent total of 238 for 9 in 50 overs with Rahmat Shah (50), Nasir Jamal (53) and leg-spinner Rashid Khan (48) making significant contributions.
In reply the visitors got bowled out for 100 inside 32 overs at Sharjah with Mujeeb picking up the wickets of Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie, Gary Wilson and Kevin O'Brien.
"Thanks to the senior players and they supported me very well," Mujeeb said. "I use the new ball lots of the time in the nets so I have very good control. If I want to bowl offspin or the carom ball or the legbreak, we just focus to bowl wicket to wicket."
A thrashing in Sharjah! 16-year-old Mujeeb Zadran bursts onto the scene with 4/24 on debut to lead Afghanistan to a 138 run victory over Ireland! #AFGvIREpic.twitter.com/v0hzoTymlJ- ICC (@ICC) 5 December 2017
Afghnistan coach Raees Ahmadzai feels the teenager is ready to shine on the big stage. "I think it's a very simple message to everyone. Cricket is like fruit that's ready to eat. Once you think he can do it, (you pick it)," Ahmadzai said after the win.
"But not one or two games. If you think that he's ready to play, then give him confidence with not one or two matches but a full series to bring him more confidence. It's a very bad habit in some countries that some youngster plays one or two matches and then no one can give you any guarantee.
"The best thing is you should give confidence, especially the selection committee, the captain, the team members. Everyone was very friendly with him and supporting him."
What a debut! Mujeeb Zadran is named Player of the Match in the 1st #AFGvIRE ODI in Sharjah! pic.twitter.com/HhOu33hQ99- ICC (@ICC) 5 December 2017
Mujeeb has been in the news lately for his exploits on the field. A few months ago he picked up a staggering 17 wickets against Bangladesh to become the highest wicket-taker in a bilateral Youth ODI series.
Last month Mujeeb once again made the headlines for playing a starring role in Afghanistan's triumphant campaign at the Under-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia. Mujeeb finished with 20 wickets including a six-wicket haul against Pakistan in the final which helped his country clinch its maiden U-19 Asia Cup title.
Mujeeb is the yet another teenage Afghan bowler who is making waves in world cricket after Rashid, who rose to fame after his maiden stint in the Indian Premier League where the 19-year-old bamboozled world class batsmen throughout the tournament and picked up 17 wickets in 14 matches for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Mujeeb is close on his heels looks like the real deal and is sure to break into the IPL in the near future if he keeps performing like this consistently, just like his teammate Rashid.