Rashid Khan Reverses Decision, Nominates for Big Bash League Draft

Aug 24, 2023

Rashid Khan Reverses Decision, Nominates for Big Bash League Draft Image

Rashid Khan, Afghanistan's renowned spinner, has reversed his views on the Big Bash League (BBL), nominating for the 2018 Overseas Player Draught. Rashid's participation in the BBL appears to be a foregone conclusion after he had hinted at boycotting the league in January.

Earlier this year, the 24-year-old cricketer expressed serious doubts about his BBL future. His rethinking comes after Cricket Australia (CA) backed out of a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates, citing concerns about the Taliban's treatment of women and related human rights issues.

CA's decision to withdraw from the white-ball series, which was originally slated for March, was in response to the Taliban's increasing restrictions on education and career prospects for women in Afghanistan. Concerns were raised concerning the safety of Afghanistan's female athletes, some of whom have received death threats and have gone into hiding.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) criticised CA's withdrawal as "unfair and unexpected," accusing the organisation of putting political interests ahead of sportsmanship and fair play. The ACB even threatened to involve the International Cricket Council (ICC) in order to prohibit Afghan players from taking part in the BBL.

Rashid Khan, a strong performer and the No. 1 bowler in the ICC Men's T20I rankings, expressed his dismay at CA's decision to cancel the ODI series. He suggested in January that he would boycott the BBL as a gesture of protest. Rashid had expressed his concerns on Twitter, emphasising his dedication to representing Afghanistan and his dissatisfaction with decisions harming the country's advancement in international cricket.

Rashid's position, however, appears to have altered over time. According to recent AAP reports, which were later confirmed by CA, Rashid is reportedly slated to be among the nominees for this year's BBL Draught. His expected nomination has fueled speculation that the Adelaide Strikers will keep him as their platinum pick, indicating a change of heart for the brilliant spinner.

Afghan cricketers such as Izharulhaq Naveed, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Shafiqullah Ghafari will also be eligible for selection in the forthcoming Draught, which is set to take place on Sunday, September 3.

Rashid, who has 98 wickets at an outstanding average of 17.51 since making his BBL debut in 2017, is likely to play in only seven games this season. Following his stay in the BBL, he will travel to South Africa to compete in the SA20, which is set to begin on January 10.

In addition to Rashid's reassessment, English cricketers Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, and James Vince have also declared their interest in the BBL Draught. The full list of names for the Draught will be revealed on Monday, heightening excitement for the next cricketing event.