Afghanistan’s teenage sensation Rashid Khan has emerged as one of the biggest ambassadors for the game of cricket from the war-torn country of Afghanistan. On Friday, the 19-year-old leg-spinner once again made his presence felt with an outstanding all-round performance for his franchise (SRH) to lead them to the finals of IPL 2018. His heroic effort has not only grabbed the imagination of cricket crazy fans across the country but also led to several calling for an Indian citizenship for the Afghan star. Acknowledging the fascination of cricket lovers across the nation, Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj responded by stating that she had gone through all the reactions on social media but the matter of awarding an Indian citizenship to a foreign resident rests with the Ministry of Home Affairs. “I have seen all the tweets. Citizenship matters are dealt with by Ministry of Home affairs,” Swaraj wrote on Twitter.
@rashidkhan_19 – I have seen all the tweets. Citizenship matters are dealt with by Ministry of Home affairs.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) 25 May 2018
However, this is not the first time that Sushma Swaraj has acknowledged Afghanistan’s prowess on the cricket field. Last year after Afghanistan had achieved Test status, the External Affairs Minister had praised their unbeatable spirit. “The fact that Afghanistan attained the status of a Test- playing cricketing nation is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people of Afghanistan to not let the forces of death and destruction prevail,” PTI quoted her as saying.
Meanwhile, here are some of the reactions from the fans who demanded that an Indian citizenship is awarded to Rashid Khan.
— Kaustubh Dhonde (@kaustubh_dhonde) 25 May 2018
Is there any way, Rashid Khan can be given Indian citizenship? We need him in our XI
— Anish Chowdhary (@anish2k11) 25 May 2018
— Sohini (@Mittermaniac) 25 May 2018
Rashid Khan’s match-winning performance included a 34 run blitz which came off just 10 deliveries (including 4 sixes and 2 fours) and a fantastic bowling effort which resulted in figures of 3/19 in four overs. Reflecting on his performance, Khan said, “It was much needed for me, just tried my best to give 100% in bowling, batting and fielding. Full focus was to believe in my skills. Want to dedicate my award to those people who lost their lives in a blast back home.”