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IPL 2024

All you need to know about Allah Ghazanfar, KKR’s 16-year-old mystery spin recruit

Allah Ghazanfar joins KKR as a replacement for Mujeeb Ur Rahman
by Atri Sanfui 3 minute read

Afghanistan mystery spinner Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar has replaced his fellow countryman Mujeeb Ur Rahman at Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for IPL 2024 – here’s all you need to know about the teenage sensation.

KKR roped in Ghazanfar at his base price of INR 20 lakh after Mujeeb was ruled out of the tournament with a sprain on his finger. He was only two months old when the IPL came into existence in 2008. Now aged 16 years 285 days, Ghazanfar will be the youngest overseas player in the history of IPL if he makes his debut, breaking the record set by Mujeeb, who debuted at 17 years and 11 days back in 2018.

While classified as an off-spinner, Ghazanfar can also turn the bowl the other way  – in the same mould as Mujeeb. He draws inspiration for his variations from Ravichandran Ashwin.

Born in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan, Ghazanfar rose through the ranks of local Under-16 cricket and was soon picked up by Asghar Afghan’s Mis Ainak Knights. He dismissed Samiullah Shinwari of the Boost Defenders caught behind in the Shpageeza Cricket League during a spell of 4-0-27-1. He built on his start and returned figures of 4-0-15-4 in just his second match against Hindukush Stars. His third match, against the Kabul Eagles, was the Eliminator of the league.

Given his obvious talent, a call-up in an overseas league was at a touching distance. That breakthrough arrived in the Pakistan Junior League, an age-level tournament. Despite a humble outing, he was shortlisted for the 2023 IPL auction.

Fast-tracked into the senior side

Ghazanfar shot to fame with an impressive outing in the 2024 Under-19 World Cup in South Africa. He took eight wickets at 16.75, grabbing the eyeballs with a splendid spell of 3-29 in a low-scoring thriller versus New Zealand.


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For his impressive show, he was drafted into Afghanistan’s ODI side against Ireland. He made his ODI debut at the age of 16 years and 236 days – the youngest ever Afghanistan and fifth-youngest men’s ODI debutant for a Full Member nation. So far, Ghazanfar has played six List A matches taking four wickets and three T20s striking five times, including a career-best 4-15.

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