Sussex Sharks snap up one of world's top T20 stars
Rashid Khan, the world's second highest ranked T20 bowler, will play for Sussex Sharks in this year's T20 Blast.
The Afghan leg-spinner will be available for the first half of the tournament, subject to international clearance and visa approval.
After agreeing to join the Sharks, Khan said: “I am delighted to have signed for Sussex for part of the T20 Blast. It has always been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and the fact I get to link up again with Dizzy [Sussex Head Coach, Jason 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.”
The 19-year-old is one of the most sought-after cricketers by teams around the world. At the recent IPL auction, Sunrisers Hyderabad paid close to a million pounds to retain Khan’s services for a second season in 2018. So far in his short career, he has also played for sides in the Caribbean Premier League, Bangladesh Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL).
Khan was the joint leading wicket-taker in this year’s Big Bash, where he was coached at tournament winners, Adelaide Strikers by incoming Sussex head coach, Jason Gillespie, who is looking forward to working with Khan again: “We are delighted that Rash has agreed to join us at Sussex. 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.
“We look forward to welcoming him to the Sharks where I’m sure he will quickly become a fan favourite.”
Khan made his international debut for Afghanistan as a 17-year-old in October 2015. Since then, he has taken 45 wickets in 28 T20Is and 70 wickets in 32 ODIs. Among bowlers who have bowled at least 500 deliveries, the 19-year-old has the lowest average (13.82) in the history of international T20 cricket. His economy rate of 5.86 runs per over is the second lowest of all time. Khan is currently second in the ICC’s T20I bowling rankings, a single point behind New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner, and he was named as the governing body’s Associate Cricketer of the Year for 2017.
Sussex’s Director of Cricket, Keith Greenfield expressed his delight at Khan’s signing: “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.”
With Khan set to join Jofra Archer at The 1st Central County Ground, the Sussex Sharks T20 Blast squad will boast two of the most thrilling and talked-about young cricketers in the world today. The T20 Blast Pass gives supporters access to all seven of Sussex Sharks’ home group matches in the tournament and is available now from www.sussexcricket.co.uk