Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan is set to return to the CPL, with the defending champions St Kitts and Nevis Patriots signing him to replace Wanindu Hasaranga.
Meanwhile, Mahesh Tekshana, who has been selected by the Trinbago Knight Riders to play in this year’s tournament, is still waiting for the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) NOC.
Rashid is back in the CPL after missing last season due to national commitments. The Patriots will be his third team to represent, after Guyana Amazon Warriors and the Barbados Royals (then Tridents). Rashid has found success with both franchises. In CPL 2020 he was the best wicket-taker in the Tridents with 11 strikes and an economy rate of 6.85 in 10 matches. In early 2017, he scored his first-ever CPL hat trick as the Amazon Warriors knocked out Jamaica Tallawahs.
Patriots assistant and strategy coach Maloran Rangarajan welcomed Rashid by saying that he misses Wanindu but can’t complain about his replacement.
The Patriots could really use a talented player like Rashid. They won just one of their five games, and even in an unlikely scenario, they had to make history by becoming the first team in the CPL to score more than 20 runs in their last game. Rashid will now lead a regular assault that will include Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya, Afghanistan’s Izharulhaq Naveed and local players Jaden Carmichael and Jon-Russ Jaggesar.
Rashid, who recently played in the Asia Cup, is Afghanistan’s second-highest wicket-taker with six wickets in five matches at an average of 6.55. Mujeeb Ur Rahman has more wickets than Rashid in the Asia Cup and will join the Barbados Royals at the top of CPL.