LAHORE: Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan has signed to play for Yorkshire in the Twenty20 Blast, the English county announced.
The 23-year-old leg-spinner will be available for the club’s first five and last six fixtures of the domestic T20 competition. Shadab has represented Pakistan in all three international formats, including 64 Twenty20s where he has taken 73 wickets and boasts a batting strike-rate of 136.81.
Subject to obtaining international clearance, he will now join Pakistan team-mate, Haris Rauf, at Yorkshire, with the fast bowler available for the first five matches of the Blast.
Ottis Gibson, Yorkshire’s coach was delighted at the prospect. “He’s a fantastic T20 player. I was in the PSL and he was player of the tournament, I think, making runs, taking wickets, full of energy. He brings a lot. In T20 cricket, you like all your players to be three-dimensional and he’s definitely a three-dimensional player that will add value with bat, ball and in the field.”
With Gary Ballance expected to miss the start of the season because of a recurrence of his mental health issues, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore still affected by concussion he suffered on a pre-season tour to Dubai, Yorkshire are also trying to finalise another overseas batter on a short-term contract.
Ballance’s mental health issues remain a private affair, although it seems fair to observe in passing, without jumping to conclusions, that he received considerable criticism for his role in Rafiq’s racism allegations.
Gough said: “Obviously, that’s a serious situation, so we just want to support him the best we can and give him the space that’s required. I would like to think that people give him that space as well because it’s a serious illness, mental health.
“Having lost two of my best friends to suicide, we will give him as much time as he possibly needs to make sure he’s in the right frame of mind to play cricket again. However long that takes,” he added.
Gibson suggested he had said: “‘Just get yourself down here, back to your happy place in Headingley and come and play some cricket with your mates’. He’s going to take a break now and I believe he’ll be back for the last two or three four-day games, near the back end of April.”