The 12th edition of the most grandiose T20 league in Australia, BBL 2022-23, is ready for deployment. The Big Bash League (BBL), known otherwise, is known for sterling encounters and commendable crowd experience. Administered by Cricket Australia, the BBL would be played in a double-round robin format with 8 teams participating in the tournament.
For the first time, the Australian league, BBL 2022-23, organized a draft system wherein clubs can nominate several international talents such as Faf du Plessis, Rashid Khan, and David Willey. Teams have traditionally contracted directly with the players and their representatives in the previous eleven BBL campaigns.
Fortuitously, BBL 2022-23 and Afghanistan players are intertwined with each other. Since cricketing developments in Afghanistan, a lot of Afghani players have notched an interest in the tournament, with Rashid Khan, being the most notable one representing Adelaide Strikers. While Mohammad Nabi, Zahir Khan, and Noor Ahmad represent Melbourne Renegades, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Qais Ahmad play for Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars respectively.
Fazalhaq Farooqi Replaces David Willey Ahead of the Opener of BBL 2022-23
Fazalhaq Farooqi, the left-arm-medium pacer becomes the most recent Afghani player to join the T20 carnival in Australia after replacing David Willey. After a successful Asia Cup and World T20, Farooqi is all set to don the Sydney Thunder colors for the upcoming BBL.
David Willey, another left-arm medium pacer ruled himself out of the tournament by terminating his contract on a mutual agreement with the franchise. Earlier, Thunder selected the English bowler as the eighth pick in the BBL12, BBL 2022-23, Draft in August, and he was the only platinum-level player slated to play the entire tournament.
Nonetheless, Andrew Gilchrist, the General Manager of Sydney Thunder believes the absence of Willey has opened doors for youngster Farooqi to showcase his talent. He said in a statement,
“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.”
Fazalhaq Farooqi has had some impression until now in his career, but he has not yet cemented himself on the global stage. The 22-year-old Farooqi has been in terrific form lately. In the recently concluded Asia Cup, Farooqi claimed 6 scalps in 5 innings. His 3/11 against Sri Lanka in the opening encounter helped Afghanistan to achieve an uncomplicated victory.
Andrew further mentioned, “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. We fully expect Fazalhaq will only further enhance the growing reputation of cricketers from Afghanistan being fearless cricketers and extraordinary entertainers.”
The Afghani youngster previously played in Australia in the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. Although he did not receive enough chances, Farooqi was impressive with the bowl and played a significant role in almost knocking over Australia. Farooqi would fancy the Manuka Oval surface, which is generally fruitful for the seamers.
Complete Squad of Sydney Thunder for BBL 2022-23: Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Rilee Rossouw, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, and Fazalhaq Farooqi. (Head Coach – Trevor Bayliss)
Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars would play the opening encounter of Big Bash League 2022-23 on Tuesday, 13th December. The fixture would be played at Manuka Oval, Canberra, which is the home venue for Thunder.