The Brisbane Heat have swooped to sign teenage Afghanistan spin prodigy Mujeeb Ur Rahman for this summer’s KFC Big Bash League.
The 17-year-old became the first male player born in the 21st century to play international cricket when he made his senior Afghanistan debut last year and has since represented his country at Test, ODI and T20 level.
A wrist spinner who also bowls conventional spin, Mujeeb is the second International signed by the Heat and joins New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum on the Brisbane books for BBL|08.
Mujeeb said, ”Once I played for my country I dreamed of playing in the IPL, county cricket and the Big Bash. I have been able to achieve the first two so this is very exciting for me. I am looking forward to meeting up with everyone at the Heat and playing in Australia.”
As was the case in BBL|07, clubs are entitled to have a maximum of two Overseas Players on their eighteen-man rosters and can also nominate an additional two Overseas Players as potential replacements throughout the course of the BBL|08 season.
Mujeeb, who is currently playing in the same team in the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League as his future Heat teammate Ben Cutting, is expected to be available for the entire BBL tournament.
Cutting, who took a hat-trick as captain in the opening game for the Nangarhar Leopards in Shajah last week, played against Mujeeb during this year’s Indian Premier League where the young spinner caught the eye for King’s XI Punjab with 14 wickets at an economy rate of 6.99.
Vettori said it was exciting for the Heat to introduce another precocious young talent to the BBL.
“We were very pleased to have Shadab Khan play for us last season and the impression he and Yasir Shah made on the competition was very encouraging,’’ he said.
“Mujeeb is a rare talent and we’re delighted he is going to play in the BBL for the first time. From what we have seen so far at International level and in competitions like the IPL and the Vitality t20 Blast in England, he has the skills and maturity to adapt and excel in a variety of conditions.”
“He has been successful in the power play and closing out an innings, so we will have options to explore depending on the state of the game. At this stage we anticipate having him for the entire BBL which is a bonus,’’ Vettori said.
We have one more spot to fill on their 18-player roster, with Vettori expecting to finalise the line-up shortly.
We have announced the following contracted players for BBL|08:
Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Brendan Doggett, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum (int), James Pattinson, Jimmy Peirson, Jack Prestwidge, Matthew Renshaw, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (int).