New Delhi: Cricketers may come and go, but the sport is yet to see another player of Sir Don Bradman’s class and caliber. The legendary Australian is most remembered for his Test average of 99.94. Any Test or first-class player has not even managed to come close to that level of consistency.
But for now, a player from Afghanistan has pushed Bradman to the second spot, in highest averages. Basheer Shah averages a whopping 121.77 after seven first-class games, with 303 being his highest score. The 18-year-old is currently in New Zealand to appear in the ICC U-19 World Cup.
This is not the only record he holds. He has the second highest debut score of 256, to his name. He is also the second youngest player to score a triple hundred, behind Javed Miandad.
“That was an unforgettable moment for me,” Baheer was quoted saying by icc-cricket.com. “I stayed at the wicket for two days, staying very comfortable. I worked on my fitness before the tournament, and the coaches taught me how to bat well. For everyone whenever they get the best score in their life it’s a very enjoyable, exciting moment.”
But did you know he even broke Sir Donald Bradman’s record?
Meet one of Afghanistan’s #FutureStars, Bahir Shah Mahboob.
— Afghan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) January 9, 2018
Basheer was tantalisingly close to beating Bill Ponsford’s record of becoming the fastest batsman to 1,000 first-class runs, but missed it narrowly.
He said, “It’s difficult to get the opportunity play for our domestic sides, so I’m very thankful for my family and for my friends and my head coach for their support. “I only thought I would try my best for my side, so to get 1,000 runs was amazing.”
Even ICC took note of his record and tweeted, "It takes something special to have a better First Class average than Don Bradman, but Afghanistan’s Baheer Shah has just that!”
— ICC (@ICC) January 9, 2018
Afghanistan would be hoping that he would score heavily in the upcoming U-19 World Cup too. “I’ve started very well in the warm-up matches in Napier,” he said. “They were good sides with first-class players, but we played four matches and won all four. It’s a very good chance for every youngster to promote his career so I’m trying very hard to have a good performance in this World Cup.”
“I like to play in different and challenging situations,” he said. “There are a lot of changeable situations, but I only want to stay at the wicket and take the pressure on myself and away from my partners. My favourite player is Hashim Amla because he is very calm and plays very well in difficult situations. I just want to keep calm and go forward.”