Brisbane Heat have signed Afghanistan's left-arm wristspinner Zahir Khan for the forthcoming season of the Big Bash League.
Zahir will play alongside compatriot Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who has re-signed with the franchise after claiming 12 wickets at a league-best economy of 6.04 in a successful stint last year.Zahir turned heads earlier this month, claiming three wickets in the second innings as Afghanistan upstaged Bangladesh in the one-off Test at Chittagong. The 20-year-old is currently playing in the Caribbean Premier League with Jamaica Tallawahs. He played for Lancashire in the T20 Blast last year and also earned a contract with Rajasthan Royals to play the IPL, a tournament he eventually missed with injury.
"This is a very exciting thing for me, especially to be joining the team where my good friend Mujeeb played last year. He told me great things about Brisbane Heat, so I am looking forward to this challenge so much," he said.
Commented on the acquisition, Heat head coach Darren Lehmann said: "I think the arrival of Afghanistan in international cricket has been one of the best things to happen to the game in recent years, and it is a real joy to see players like Mujeeb and Zahir grow in stature for their country and show their skills around the world.
"It's great that the BBL has played a role in helping with that development with the likes of Mujeeb and now Zahir, joining Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Qais Ahmad in getting starts here."
According to new contracting rules in place for BBL09, clubs can sign up to six overseas players over the course of the season, two more than in previous years. Teams can have a maximum of two overseas players on their 18-man roster, with four additional overseas players available as potential replacements throughout the course of the season.