Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Usman Qadir returns to BBL after signing Sydney Thunder deal

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Sydney Thunder has added to its significant arsenal of bowlers for this summer’s KFC Big Bash League by recruiting Pakistan’s T20 International leg-spinner, Usman Qadir.

The 29-year-old will provide the Trevor Bayliss-coached Thunder with cover while rising star Tanveer Sangha recovers from the back stress injury that’s frustrated the start to his season.


Qadir, who is the son of the late Abdul Qadir, one of world cricket’s greatest-ever exponents of leg-spin bowling, will arrive to Sydney Showground Stadium boasting an intimate knowledge of Australian playing conditions.


Besides playing Premier cricket in Sydney and Adelaide, Qadir also represented Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers during the 2018/19 season.


Indeed, after he declared his desire to represent Australia in the 2020 World T20 Cup, Qadir was selected to play in the Prime Minister’s XI which defeated a strong South Africa side in Canberra. He finished the four-wicket victory with an impressive 3-28.


Qadir, who has since represented Pakistan in 23 T20 Internationals after gaining selection in 2019, has forged a reputation for having the ability to take wickets in the middle overs. His effort to take 4-13 against Zimbabwe is seen by many as his crowning performance on the international stage.


When his late father was recently inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, Usman wrote a letter to express the impact his late, great ‘Babajan’ had on his career – and life.


One of the stories I will always remember will be that when I was 15, I wanted to go to Pakistan trials and you insisted I was not ready, since I had only played cricket with a tennis ball with you up to that point,” he wrote.

“I snuck out and went anyway against your advice. When I came home, you knew where I had been and spent half an hour shouting at me to tell me I wasn’t ready. As soon as you let me tell you that I had been picked – and confirmed it with the selectors – you sat me down and started planning what fields I should set for right and left-handed batters.” 


Sydney Thunder’s Head of Thunder, Andrew Gilchrist said Qadir, who was a reserve for the Pakistan team which thrilled cricket lovers in the recent World T20 Cup tournament held in Australia, would provide Thunder’s bowling attack with ‘experience’ and ‘sting’.

“Usman joins us with plenty of experience, having represented Pakistan, and playing in T20 leagues around the world,” he said.

“Importantly, he has firsthand knowledge of Australian conditions, he played for Western Australia and South Australia’s Futures League [2012-13], so he knows what to expect.”

“He’s also made it clear that he is proud his father re-invented the googly; I have read that he feels as though he’s its ‘custodian’. I hope he drives our opponents mad with his googly and other tricks this summer –it will provide extra sting to our attack.”

Sydney Thunder BBL|12 Home Fixtures

Tue 13 Dec | Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Stars | Manuka Oval | 7:15pm
Fri 16 Dec | Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 8:15pm
Tue 27 Dec | Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat | Sydney Showground Stadium | 7:15pm
Sat 31 Dec | Sydney Thunder v Hobart Hurricanes | Lavington Sports Ground | 3:30pm
Sun 8 Jan | Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 7:15pm
Fri 13 Jan | Sydney Thunder v Perth Scorchers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 6:30pm
Thu 19 Jan | Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegades | Manuka Oval | 7:15pm

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