Sydney Thunder have roped in Afghanistan left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi to replace David Willey for the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League. The latter was drafted as a platinum player in the inaugural overseas player draft in August but decided to withdraw his name earlier this month.
Farooqi, who has also played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, has been very consistent in the shortest format of the game. The 22-year-old has claimed 35 wickets in 33 T20s at an economy of 6.53 and was also pretty good in the 2022 T20 World Cup. Afghanistan failed to win a single game in the tournament but Farooqi managed to take three wickets in as many games at an economy of 6.52.
"Fazalhaq Farooqi is an emerging talent. He joins Thunder in great form after playing exceptional cricket in the World T20 Cup and the Asia Cup tournament. While it was very disappointing to have lost David Willey, it has opened the door for Farooqi to further enhance his reputation and growing status in world cricket," said Thunder general manager Andrew Gilchrist.
"Afghanistan has enjoyed a tremendous representation in the BBL over the years. Rashid Khan has been embraced by Adelaide Strikers fans as a genuine superstar and adopted South Australian, while others, including Zahir Khan, Noor Ahmad and Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Qais Ahmad have made their marks.
"We fully expect Fazalhaq will only further enhance the growing reputation of cricketers from Afghanistan being fearless cricketers and extraordinary entertainers."
Sydney Thunder squad: Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Rilee Rossouw, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner.