The Hobart Hurricanes have locked in their second international player for the ninth installment of the KFC Big Bash League, with Afghan spin sensation Qais Ahmad returning to Tasmania.
Ahmad proved a worthy replacement for injured Englishman Tymal Mills last season, taking eight wickets in three appearances with the Hurricanes.
A starring performance in a losing semi-final team all but confirmed his worth in the mind of Hobart coach Adam Griffith.
“Qais showed a lot in his three games with us last season and really impressed, it was an easy decision to bring him back,” Griffith said.
“He spins the ball well both ways for someone so young and provides a level of energy that we like in the field.”
Exuberance is almost the trademark of the 18-year-old Afghan. Ahmad became an internet sensation when he celebrated a wicket in the Caribbean Premier League in 2018 by doing a running backflip. While he didn’t pull out the party trick at Blundstone Arena in BBL|08, the Hurricanes will now have a full season of wicket taking opportunities.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Hobart Hurricanes for a full season after a great start there last summer,” Ahmad said.
“It’s clear to me that this team has success in them and I can’t wait to be a part of that in front of the fans in Tasmania.”
After recently completing a tour of Bangladesh with Afghanistan A, Ahmad will aim to debut for the Afghan national team before his stint with the Hurricanes kicks off. Afghanistan will play three T20I’s, three ODI’s and a Test against the West Indies in November.
It’s a workload lighter than that of fellow Hobart import Jofra Archer. Since last playing at Blundstone Arena, the exciting quick has risen the ranks of international cricket after starring in his debut World Cup campaign with England.
Archer narrowly missed selection for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston but appears poised to make his Test debut later in the five-match series.
A change to the BBL’s rostering rules this season will allow clubs to sign an extra two replacement international players (four total) in the case of regular exports leaving for national team duties.
While Ahmad should be available for the full tournament, the Hurricanes may need an able replacement for Archer if he’s selected for England’s tour of South Africa in January and February.
Hobart Hurricanes current squad: Qais Ahmad (OS), Jofra Archer (OS), George Bailey, James Faulkner, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Tom Rogers, D'Arcy Short, Aaron Summers, Matthew Wade