Josh Poysden was not about to waste the opportunity to pick the brains of arguably the world’s best leg-spinner at present when Afghanistan’s World Cup bandwagon rolled into Headingley earlier this week.

As the Afghans and their superstar Rashid Khan trained yesterday ahead of their clash with Pakistan tomorrow, Poysden offered himself up as one of the net bowlers. But, beforehand, he made it known to the 20-year-old that he was keen to chat about all things cricket.

“When I was younger and more inexperienced, I did a lot of net bowling, especially at the England guys, whenever I could,” explained Yorkshire’s Poysden. “When I’ve been in Sydney in the winters, I’ve bowled at the Big Bash teams and New South Wales.

“It’s something I don’t really do too often any more. But I just thought with the World Cup being at Headingley and Rashid Khan being around, ‘Right, this is a good chance for me to pick the brains of someone at the top of their game in international cricket and also around the world in T20’.

“I spoke to Andrew Gale when we were training at Scarborough this week because he knows Phil Simmons (Afghanistan coach) through his Level Four training to see if he could put me in touch with Rashid.

“Mick Cadmore also helped me out by speaking to him in the changing room.

“So when I came in, Rashid came over and introduced himself. It was an invaluable hour bowling with him and chatting to him.

“I’ve been really lucky in my career so far. I’ve been able to pick the brains of people like Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill, Imran Tahir and Samuel Badree. With Rashid, we just talked about everything.

“Just watching Rashid on TV, I know he’s got a really good googly. I bowl the googly as well, so I was seeing if there were any little things I could pick up on.

“With most things in cricket, leg-spin in particular, everyone is quite unique, so you’re never going to walk away saying, ‘I’m going to bowl exactly like him’. It’s just about getting little nuggets and adapting them to my game.

“Seeing how he bowls the googly was a big thing I wanted to take from it.

“Also we talked about other technical things, all sorts, from his grip, how does he go about training, does he do a lot of homework on the batters to see what fields he wants, how does he bowl differently in different countries, what are his different plans in the various formats.

“Just bowling together, you can have that informal chat.

“He was just amazing to be honest. He was so open with his information, and he’s such a nice guy. It was good of him to give up his time.”

Poysden, 27-years-old, has been on the other side of things – the one giving the advice.

He explained: “There’s a bit of a leg-spinners’ union, so when I talk to a younger bowler you have to give them what you can. It’s one of the really nice things about cricket that you get these chances to learn from other people.

“We’ve got Josh Sullivan on the Yorkshire Academy, for example, and it was really important for me to help him out as much as I could over the winter.”

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