Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan has been secured by the Brisbane Heat for their 2017-18 Big Bash League campaign.
The teenager, who will turn 19 in October, is looking forward to the challenge of playing in Australia under the captaincy of former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
“It is a very professional League with many great players, so it will be a good test for me when I get there,’’ said Shadab, as quoted by brisbaneheat.com.au.
Shadab, who is currently playing for Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), added he was eager to meet his teammates and train with the Heat’s coach — former New Zealand spin great Daniel Vettori.
“I am enjoying playing in the same team as Brendon with the Knight Riders [in the CPL] and look forward to meeting my other teammates with the Brisbane Heat and practicing with the coach Vettori very soon,” he said.
Shadab is a dynamic spinner: Vettori
Heat’s coach Vettori believes Shadab will complement the team’s playing style when he joins them for the upcoming tournament.
“He is one of the most dynamic young spinners in the game and will fit nicely into the style of play that we want to employ this summer,’’ said Vettori.
38-year-old Kiwi legend further said that Pakistani teenager’s all-round ability is also praiseworthy.
“I know Brendon has been highly impressed with him as a teammate in the CPL and we’re looking forward to working with him when he arrives,” he said. “As well as his ability with the ball, he’s got some good skills with the bat and is handy in the field.”
Vettori then revealed that securing Shadab’s signature means they will not be giving a contract to the West Indian leggie Samuel Badree.
“We wish Sammy all the best and thank him for being an important part of things with the Heat over the years,’’ said Vettori.
Selecting Shadab in the Brisbane squad owes a lot to his current form in the CPL, where he opened his campaign with figures of 4-28 against Guyana and 1-20 against the Barbados Tridents.
Meanwhile, the right-arm spinner has been a mainstay in the Pakistan limited-overs side since his introduction for Islamabad United in Pakistan’s premier domestic T20 league, the Pakistan Super League.
Shadab bagged two man-of-the-match awards in his first two T20Is during Pakistan’s tour to the West Indies earlier this year, where bagged 3-7 and 4-14. The figures of 4-0-7-3 in the first 20-over fixture earned him the honour of the most economical bowling spell in the history of T20I cricket by a debutant.
Apart from his T20I exploits, Shadab was one part of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy squad which thrashed India in the final to be crowned champions.
He has, till now, represented Pakistan in four T20Is and seven ODIs, bagging 10 and nine wickets respectively. He also has one Test under his belt where could grab only wicket.