English county team Sussex has roped in the services of arguably one of the greatest modern-day leg-spinners, Rashid Khan for the upcoming Natwest T20 Blast. The country broke the news through their twitter handle on Tuesday. There is no doubt about the fact that Rashid is one of the most sought-after bowlers especially in the shortest format of the game and is ranked 2nd in the latest ICC Rankings for Bowlers in the shortest format.
He was the joint highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded Big Bash League and played an instrumental role in helping the Adelaide Strikers to a title victory. He bagged 18 wickets from 11 matches and was recently retained by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL Auctions for a whopping Rs 9 crores.
New coach of Sussex, Jason Gillespie played a vital role in signing the leg-spinner. “We are delighted that Rash has agreed to join us,” Gillespie said. “His form for Afghanistan and the T20 teams he has played for over the last couple of years has been phenomenal. I have been incredibly impressed with his attitude, work ethic and team-first mentality.”
Sussex was knocked out of the tournament in the quarter-final last year. However this time around they will boast of serious bowling line-up including the likes of Jofra Archer and Tymal Mills while Rashid will be leading the attack. Despite being a 19-year-old, Rashid already has enough experience of playing the shortest format of the game.
“It has always been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and the fact I get to link up again with Dizzy [Gillespie] is very exciting,” Rashid, who is currently playing for Afghanistan against Zimbabwe in UAE which forced him to miss the Big Bash final on Saturday (February 3), said. “I have heard a lot of good things about Sussex and am excited to join a talented squad and I hope to help the team push for T20 silverware.”
Khan has a sensational record in limited overs cricket for Afghanistan. Making his debut as 17 years old, Rashid has already bagged 70 ODI wickets at an exceptional average of 14.48 in 32 encounters while he has bagged 47 wickets in 28 T2OI’s at an average of 13.80. He has many variations up his sleeve and uses the pace of the ball to very good effect. He has an exceptional wrong un which can deceive any great batsmen including the likes of Virat Kohlis and the Steven Smiths.
Director of Sussex Cricket, Keith Greenfield said, “Rashid is the most sought-after spin talent in the world currently. He has made a significant impact in all the teams he has played for to date, so to make this move happen and have him join the other exciting talent we already have in our T20 line up is fantastic.”
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