For Rashid Khan, bamboozling batsmen is one thing which has led to another: changing the perception of a nation.
When people think Afghanistan, they think ‘war-torn’.
Now, they also think cricket.
Now, they think Rashid, the ICC’s freshly-minted Twenty20 player of the decade.
“I’m so blessed,” Rashid said in Adelaide on Monday night when asked his reaction to the award.
“And more importantly, it’s very good for them back home in Afghanistan. They feel very proud.
“It’s a dream not for me, but for the whole country.”
Rashid is aged 22. He’s only played international cricket since October 2015.
He was born in Jalalabad in Afghanistan’s east, some 130km from Kabul.
When young, he fled his city and the ‘war-torn’ Afghanistan with his parents and 10 siblings – four sisters, six brothers.
They settled for a few years in Pakistan where he saw Shahid Afridi play cricket.
Afridi, who hails from Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area, which borders Nangarhar – one of 34 provinces of Afghanistan – shares Pashtun heritage with Rashid.
Afridi was a legspinner and daring batsman.
So Rashid too became a legspinner and daring batsmen when he returned to Jalalabad with his family.
Now, Rashid is the T20 player of the decade.
Now, he’s the shortest-format’s top ranked bowler.
Now, he’s the biggest T20 bowling drawcard in the world.
But there’s something more important to Rashid than the wickets for his country or for his dozen or so T20 outfits, including the Adelaide Strikers.
Now, he’s an inspiration to a generation.
Young Afghanis see Rashid, and they want to become a legspinner and daring batsman.
“It (means) a lot,” he said of his growing legacy in Afghanistan.
“Especially the youngsters, the last six, seven years, it has really changed.
“Everyone is having that in the mind … that we have to go, we have to play cricket.
“They are focusing more on cricket and education.
“And as a player, that is something very satisfying, that I have done something for the country that changes the young generation’s future.
“I am so blessed to be someone who changed their mindset, their future.”
Rashid not only senses that his on-field exploits and cricket are altering the perception of his beloved Afghanistan. He sees it when he returns home.
“Whenever you go to Afghanistan, you find they will be playing cricket in streets, in parks, everywhere,” he said.
“And that means how much they want to play sports and represent their country and give a good image in the outer (world).
“For somebody (to) talk about Afghanistan in other countries, they have to think and have to have positive things in their mind, that yes, Afghanistan has some good players in cricket.
“And it is something that feels so good to be someone who does this.”