'If he sheds 20kgs, I'll include him in IPL': MS Dhoni's interesting conversation with Asghar Afghan
In a lighthearted yet intriguing conversation, former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni playfully challenged Afghan cricketer Mohammad Shahzad, stating he would consider including him in the IPL if Shahzad managed to shed 20 kg.
Former Indian captain MS Dhoni engaged in an intriguing chat with Afghan player Asghar Afghan. During the conversation, Dhoni responded cheekily to Afghan's mention of Mohammad Shahzad's admiration. Dhoni humorously stated that if Shahzad manages to lose 20 kg, he would consider picking him in the IPL.
Asghar Afghan shared details of the discussion with the Times of India, recounting the exchange that occurred after the India vs Afghanistan match in the 2018 Asia Cup.
"After the tied match, I had a long chat with MS Dhoni. He is a superb captain and a godsend to Indian cricket. He is a nice human being. We spoke about Mohammad Shahzad a lot. I told Dhoni bhai that Shahzad is your big fan. Dhoni said, 'Shahzad has got a big tummy, and if he loses 20 kg, I will pick him in the IPL.' But when Shahzad returned to Afghanistan after the series, he gained 5 more kgs (laughs)," he said.
Asghar also reflected on playing against India, deeming it the 'best moment' in his career.
"The tied match of the 2018 Asia Cup was the best moment for me. That was the best match. Both Afghanistan and Indian fans were in tension. India needed seven runs to win in the last over, and Afghanistan needed one wicket to win the match. Rashid bowled the last over.
"When three deliveries were remaining, Jadeja was on strike. Nabi and Rashid came and said, 'Captain, bring all the players inside the circle or close to Jadeja.' India needed 1 off two balls. I decided to place Najib (Najibullah Zadran) towards mid-on. I told Rashid to bowl a leg break, and Jadeja was out caught to Najib towards mid-wicket. Rashid was so happy; he hugged me. I knew Jadeja would make some room and (try to) smash the ball and would end up giving the catch. And he did the same. I will give credit to Rashid, who bowled well and as per the plan," he said.