Rising England speedster Saqib Mahmood has been roped in by Sydney Thunder for the upcoming season of the Big Bash League (BBL) later in the year. The Lancashire bowler will join compatriots Alex Hales and Sam Billings under new Thunder coach Trevor Bayliss.
Saqib Mahmood was terrific in the home ODI series against Pakistan. He snapped 9 wickets in 3 games at an outstanding average of 13.66, including a career-best performance of 4/52, bagging the Player-of-the-Series award.
The 24-year-old expressed excitement about playing in front of Australian crowds in one of the biggest franchise leagues in the world. This will also give him a chance to work with Bayliss, the 2019 World Cup-winning coach.
“You see full houses. You see close games. The standard of cricket is high, and you get some really good overseas players. It’s a high-class tournament. The main thing for me is to try and help Sydney Thunder win the Big Bash. I’ve had a look at the squad, it’s a really good side, and there’s a lot of class, a lot of match winners,” Saqib Mahmood said.“I’ll want to build a good relationship with my teammates and coaches, but the most important thing is to enjoy it and win that trophy.”
Saqib Mahmood has really made his mark over the last year: Alex Hales
Alex Hales, the leading run-scorer last season in the BBL, heaped praise on Saqib Mahmood. He reckons with his pace and smarts, the youngster will find success on Australian shores.
“He is a great signing, Saqib has really made his mark over the last year. He can bowl very quick and has a good slower ball. I think he’ll adapt well to the BBL. He’s a young lad, but he’s an international quality bowler. He’ll go well,” Hales said.