Rahmat Shah is an Afghan cricketer who plays as a right-handed batsman and a right-arm leg break bowler. He is one of the most consistent and reliable batsmen for Afghanistan in all formats of the game. He made his international debut for Afghanistan in March 2013 and became the first Afghan batsman to score a Test century in September 2019.
Rahmat Shah was born on 6 July 1993 in Zurmat, Paktia, Afghanistan. His father, Abul Kashem, was a businessman and his mother, Nurjahan Begum, was a homemaker. He has two brothers, Shukrullah and Zekrullah, and one sister. He belongs to the Zurmati tribe of Afghanistan. He was passionate about cricket since his childhood and his father introduced him to the game when he was nine years old. He studied at King Khaled Institute, Stamford College and American International University of Bangladesh.
Rahmat Shah is married to his cousin, Samia Parvin, who is a psychology student at Dhaka University. They tied the knot on 22 March 2019. They have a daughter who was born in November 2020. He follows Islam and his hobbies include fishing, listening to music and horse riding. His favourite quote is "To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are."
Rahmat Shah started playing cricket as a batsman and joined the Bangladesh Cricket Board's pace bowling academy in 2015. He played for the Afghanistan under-15 and under-17 teams before making his first-class debut for Chittagong Division in the 2017–18 National Cricket League on 13 October 2017. He made his List A debut for Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity in the 2017–18 Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League on 5 February 2018. He was the joint-leading wicket-taker for Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity in the 2017–18 Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, with 17 dismissals in eight matches. He made his Twenty20 debut for Bangladesh A against Ireland A on 13 August 2018. In November 2019, he was selected to play for the Dhaka Platoon in the 2019–20 Bangladesh Premier League. He made his Twenty20 debut for Dhaka Platoon in the 2019–20 Bangladesh Premier League on 12 December 2019.
Rahmat Shah made his One Day International (ODI) debut for Afghanistan against Scotland on 6 March 2013. On 4 July 2016, he made his first century in an ODI during Afghanistan's tour of Scotland . In May 2018, Rahmat was named in Afghanistan's squad for their inaugural Test match, played against India . He made his Test debut for Afghanistan, against India, on 14 June 2018. In September 2019, in the one-off Test between Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Rahmat became the first batsman for Afghanistan to score a century in Test cricket. He scored 102 runs off 187 balls and helped Afghanistan win their first away Test match by 224 runs. In April 2019, Rahmat was named in Afghanistan's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup . He finished the tournament as the leading run-scorer for Afghanistan, with 254 runs in nine matches. In April 2021, Rahmat was named as captain of Afghanistan national cricket team in One Day International cricket after Asghar Afghan was sacked from captaincy by Afghanistan Cricket Board . However, following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, Rashid Khan was named as the new captain of the Afghanistan cricket team across all three formats.
Rahmat Shah has played 95 ODIs for Afghanistan till date, scoring 3,191 runs at an average of 36.26. His highest score is 114 against Ireland in January 2021. He has also taken 15 wickets at an average of 36.71. His best bowling figures are 5/32 against Zimbabwe in February 2020.
Rahmat Shah has not played any T20I matches for Afghanistan till date.
Rahmat Shah has played 7 Tests for Afghanistan till date, scoring 424 runs at an average of 30.28. His highest score is 102 against Bangladesh in September 2019. He has also taken 1 wicket at an average of 43.00. His best bowling figures are 1/34 against India in June 2018.
Rahmat Shah was appointed as captain of Afghanistan national cricket team in One Day International cricket in April 2021, replacing Asghar Afghan who was sacked by ACB. He led Afghanistan to their first ODI series win against England in October 2021, scoring a century in the third match. He also led Afghanistan to their first Test series win against Bangladesh in June 2023, scoring a double century in the second match.
Rahmat Shah was criticized for his slow batting during the 2019 Cricket World Cup, especially in the match against England where he scored 76 off 100 balls while chasing a target of 398. He defended his approach by saying that he wanted to bat till the end and avoid a huge defeat. He was also involved in a verbal spat with Indian captain Virat Kohli during the Asia Cup in September 2021, after Kohli accused him of wasting time by calling for drinks during his innings. Rahmat responded by saying that he was feeling dehydrated and needed some water. The two players exchanged words and had to be separated by the umpires.