Star Afghani bowler Rashid Khan spun the Adelaide Strikers to victory against the Sydney Thunder on Monday night just hours after the death of his father — the man Rashid labelled “the most important person in my life”.
The Strikers released a statement on Monday afternoon confirming Rashid would face the Thunder at the Adelaide Oval on New Year’s Eve, even though his dad passed away on Sunday night. Adelaide said Rashid would play “in honour of his late father”.
Rashid then produced a match-turning spell for the Strikers, dismissing Thunder duo Jason Sangha and Daniel Sams to finish with 2-34 in his side’s 20-run victory.
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Fellow Strikers bowler Peter Siddle, who was named man of the match for his spell of 3-20 paid tribute to Rashid and his family.
“I spent a lot of time with (Rashid) last night and he’s pretty flat,” Siddle told Channel 7 post-game.
“But his family gave him the blessing to come here and play tonight. We gave him the chance to go home and he was happy to stay with the boys.
“He knew how much his dad loved watching the Strikers play and cheering us on.
“To Rash’s family, this one’s for you.”
Rashid in the early hours of Monday morning paid tribute to “the most important person in my life” on social media.
He also tweeted from the Rashid Khan Foundation account, the foundation he established to support Afghan children and orphans in need of education, clean water and healthcare.
Members from the cricket world were quick to send Rashid messages of support in the aftermath of the news.
The Strikers spinner has had an excellent start to his latest BBL campaign, taking five wickets and conceding an average of just 3.41 runs per over from his first three games.
Rashid is No.1 in ICC rankings for T20 bowlers this year and is closing in on 100 T20 wickets for this calendar year.