Young Afghanistan leg-spinner –Rashid Khan, who has made a name for himself with his sizzling spin bowling and become one of the hottest properties in T20 leagues across the world, has been signed up by Sussex for the Natwest T20 Blast campaign 2018.
On Tuesday, Sussex confirmed that the 19-year-old will only be available for the first half of the tournament, while the T20 tournament will start with the encounter between Sussex and Essex at County Ground, Chelmsford on 4 July 2018.
Recently, Rashid was with Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League (BBL) and played a crucial role in their title triumph, though, he missed the final due to his international duties, playing against Zimbabwe in UAE. Strikers, however, managed to beat Hobart Hurricanes and claim the BBL title.
In BBL, the leg-spinner finished as the joint leading wicket-taker with 18 wickets in 11 innings at an economy rate of 5.65.
Rashid, who is currently ranked second in the ICC's T20 bowling rankings, will once again play under the guidance of Jason Gillespie, who recently coached Adelaide Strikers in BBL, will now coach Sussex.
According to a report in Cricbuzz, Gillespie said, “We are delighted that Rash has agreed to join us. His form for Afghanistan and the T20 teams he has played for over the last couple of years has been phenomenal. I have worked closely with Rash at the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL and have been incredibly impressed with his attitude, work ethic and team-first mentality.”
The leg-spinner, who made his international debut for Afghanistan at a very young age –17 years took 70 wickets at 14.48 in 32 ODIs (against Zimbabwe in 2015) and 47 wickets at 13.80 in 28 T20Is (against Bangladesh in 2016). He is now excited about the prospects to link up again with Gillespie.
Rashid added, “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Sussex's Director of Cricket, Keith Greenfield said of the youngster, “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.”
Gillespie signed off by saying, “We look forward to welcoming him to the Sharks where I'm sure he will quickly become a fan favorite.”