"It is a huge honour to be a part of such a great tournament and even more of an honour to be the first Afghanistan player to participate on the BBL stage." © Getty Images

“It is a huge honour to be a part of such a great tournament and even more of an honour to be the first Afghanistan player to participate on the BBL stage.” © Getty Images

Rashid Khan has been signed up to represent Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League later this year, the club confirmed in a statement on Thursday (September 14).

Rashid, the 18-year-old Afghanistan legspinner who was one of the most successful bowlers in this year’s Indian Premier League, will become the first Afghan to feature in the tournament.

“I am very happy to have signed with the Strikers for the BBL,” said Rashid. “It is a huge honour to be a part of such a great tournament and even more of an honour to be the first Afghanistan player to participate on the BBL stage.”

Jason Gillespie, the Adelaide coach, hailed Rashid’s signing as a “major coup”. “Rashid has set the world alight in T20 cricket with his energy, enthusiasm and great control for a young guy,” said Gillespie. “He has some great variations, can bowl stump-to-stump and can be very hard to pick.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer him the opportunity to play for the Adelaide Strikers.”

Rashid has claimed 63 wickets in 29 One-Day Internationals, including the fourth-best figures in the history of the format: 7 for 18 against Windies in June. He also became the first to take a hat-trick in the Caribbean Premier League, playing for Guyana Amazon Warriors, this season.

During the 2017 IPL, in fact, Rashid had expressed a desire to be a part of the BBL, saying, “My dream is to play Big Bash. I would love to be the first Afghani to play in the Big Bash. I’m looking forward to playing in BBL if I get a chance. I have performed well so far in the IPL and hopefully that will help me be part of Big Bash.”

The latest edition of the BBL – the seventh season – starts on December 19 with a match between Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers at Sydney Showground Stadium, while Adelaide’s first game is against Thunder on December 22 at Adelaide Oval.