When you think of batting averages, the first name that comes to your mind is Don Bradman. But here is a young player from war-ravaged Afghanistan who averages much more than the Australian great. He, in fact, has the highest batting average in the world for players with more than 1,000 first class runs.
Baheer Shah has played only seven first class games so far in which he has already notched 1,096 runs in 12 innings with a staggering average of 121.77 — the highest in the world.
The 18-year-old’s average is even better than Bradman’s first class average of 95.14 while his Test average is the famous 99.94. Third in the list is India’s Vijay Merchant with 71.64.
In his short first class career, which began in October last year, Baheer Shah has already hit five hundreds and two half centuries in 12 innings with a best of 303 not out.
The Afghan player smashed an amazing 256 not out on debut for Speen-Ghar against Amo in October 2017, which is the second highest debut score of all time. Five innings later, Baheer scored his first triple century to become the second youngest first class triple centurion after Pakistan great Javed Miandad.
“That was an unforgettable moment for me. 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,” Baheer was quoted as saying by icc-cricket.com.
“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.”
Baheer is now part of the Afghanistan team taking part in the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. Afghanistan cricket team will start their campaign against Pakistan at the Cobham Oval in Whangarei on January 13.
“I’ve started very well in the warm-up matches in Napier. 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 at this World Cup,” said Baheer.
“I like to play in different and challenging situations. 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 forwards.”
Not with a deep cricketing history, Afghanistan were granted Test status last year by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and will play their maiden match against India, the date and venue for which will be announced later.