Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Renegades have signed up emerging Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan for the upcoming 11th season of the T20 tournament, beginning December 5 in Sydney.
Khan, 22, will now move to the Renegades after featuring for the Melbourne Stars and Brisbane Heat over the past two seasons of the BBL.
Zahir, a left-arm wrist spinner, boasts a bevy of variations and has already made an impact in the BBL after scalping 14 wickets from his 16 games, with his economy rate a miserly 6.76.
Commenting on the signing, Head Coach David Saker said: “We’re excited to welcome Zahir Khan to our Renegades program.”
“He has shown some promising signs in the Big Bash over the last two years. He’s a skilful bowler, has plenty of variations and is a young player who will only continue to improve. Zahir plays with a lot of energy and we believe he will add a point of difference to our bowling attack,” he added.
On the other hand, Melbourne Renegades General Manager James Rosengarten said: “Zahir Khan’s signing is another important piece of the puzzle for us this season and we’re glad to have him on board. With the additions of Zahir and Mohammad Nabi, our squad is finalised and we’re full steam ahead into preparations over the next 4 weeks for BBL to get underway.”
“There’s a nice blend of experienced, senior players alongside plenty of emerging talent in our playing group. We’re confident this group is capable of lifting the Renegades back up the ladder this season,” he added.
Zahir will joins fellow Afghan T20I skipper and ace all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, English fast bowler Reece Topley and Indian batter Unmukt Chand as overseas signings.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Renegades had announced the re-signing of Nabi, who will play his fifth successive summer with the Melbourne-based franchise.
Nabi, 36, has represented the Renegades in 34 matches in the previous four seasons and was also part of the title-winning squad in BBL 08.
Commenting on the development, Nabi, the No. 1 ranked all-rounder in T20I cricket, had said: “It’s great to be linking up with the Renegades once again. Going into my fifth Big Bash campaign, I feel like part of their family. I hope we can win another title and give our fans something to smile about after such a difficult time for everyone.”
The upcoming season of the Big Bash league will begin on December 5 with a game between Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The Aaron Finch-led Melbourne Renegades will open their campaign against Adelaide Strikers on December 7 at the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne.
Melbourne Renegades BBL Squad: Aaron Finch, Cameron Boyce, Unmukt Chand (IND), Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Zahir Khan (AFG), Josh Lalor, Nic Maddinson, Shaun Marsh, Mohammad Nabi (AFG), James Pattinson, Mitchell Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Reece Topley (ENG)