Sydney Thunder have roped in Afghanistan fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi for the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) 2022-23, starting December 13 in Canberra.
The Thunder picked the left-arm pacer as an overseas replacement for England’s David Willey, who pulled out of Australia’s Premier T20 tournament last week.
The English pacer was drafted as a ‘platinum player’ by the Sydney-based franchise in the BBL overseas players draft that was held in August earlier this year.
Farooqi had a decent outing with the ball in the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup, where he picked up three wickets in three matches at an economy of 6.52.
The young left-armer, who made his debut for Afghanistan in March 2021, has picked 35 wickets in 33 T20s, including 17 T20 Internationals that he played for his country.
Fazalhaq Farooqi is an emerging talent: Andrew Gilchrist
There are several Afghanistan players who have been a part of the Big Bash League and just like his seniors, Fazalhaq Farooqi will be eager to make an impact.
Head of Sydney Thunder, Andrew Gilchrist, stated that the Thunder was excited to add a young left-armer to their arsenal after David Willey’s departure.
“Fazalhaq Farooqi is an emerging talent. He joins Thunder in great form after playing exceptional cricket in the World T20 Cup and the Asia Cup tournament,” Gilchrist said.
“While it was very disappointing to have lost David Willey, it has opened the door for Farooqi to further enhance his reputation and growing status in world cricket.”
Andrew Gilchrist further backed Farooqi to follow in the footsteps of his Afghanistan teammates Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, who have churned out some stellar performances in the tournament for their respective franchises so far.
“Afghanistan has enjoyed a tremendous representation in the BBL over the years. Rashid Khan has been embraced by Adelaide Strikers fans as a genuine superstar and honorary South Australian resident, while others, including Zahir Khan, Noor Ahmad and Mohammad Nabi (Renegades), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Heat), and Qais Ahmad (Stars) have made their mark”
“We fully expect Fazalhaq will only further enhance the growing reputation of cricketers from Afghanistan being fearless cricketers and extraordinary entertainers.”
Sydney Thunder BBL|12 Squad:
Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Rilee Rossouw, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner.