Teams Played For
Afghanistan, Kabul Zwanan, Dhaka Dynamites, Maratha Arabians, Rajshahi Royals
Afghanistan cricket is synonymous with spin wizards but of late the country has produced some extraordinary batters as well, and Hazratullah Zazai is one of them. Known for his batting exploits, Zazai belts opposition bowlers and has an unreal ability to clear boundary ropes with subtle ease.
Born in Paktia, a 16-year old Zazai was first spotted by Peter Anderson, Afghanistan cricket academy's head coach. The teenager was watched during a trial match ahead of the domestic T20 competition in 2014.
Zazai, then too, had the unreal ability to tonk massive sixes and Anderson was obsessed by the youngster and picked him in Band-e-Amir Dragons for the Shpageeza Cricket League. The left-handed batter showed sublime form and took the team to the final of the competition and grabbed the best new corner award.
The Peter Anderson-blessed cricketer soon found himself donning the Afghan jersey, making his T20I debut against UAE in 2016.
Two years later, Zazai was named in Kabul Zwanan's squad in the first edition of the Afghanistan Premier League tournament. And boy oh boy, it was a tournament to remember for everyone present in the Hazratullah Zazai fan club. He went berserk and blasted six-sixes in an over against Balkh Legends. In the process, Zazai also equalled the record for the fastest fifty in Twenty20 cricket, from twelve balls.
In 2018, the burly teenager returned to international premises, striking two back-to-back half-centuries to ensure a T20I series sweep of Ireland. The following year, against the very same team, he swung 162* off just 62 balls - the second-highest individual score in T20Is - which had 16 maximum stun in the innings.
Since then, Zazai has been a preliminary part of the Afghanistan team in both white-ball formats. The left-handed opener played the 2019 World Cup. Now, he will be looking to take his side to some stage at the T20 World Cup in 2021.
(As of October 2021)