Rashid Khan and Peter Siddle celebrate a wicket. Image: Adelaide Strikers

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan has withdrawn from the upcoming Big Bash League due to a back injury.

The 25-year-old, who played a key role for Afghanistan during the recent ODI World Cup campaign and who helped the Adelaide Strikers win their maiden BBL title back in 2018, will undergo a minor operation.

The Adelaide Strikers have been rocked by the news, with the nature of Rashid’s back injury still clouded. Khan has been a key player for the Strikers, being a crowd favourite amongst the supporters.

It’s the second major blow for the BBL after the withdrawal of English batting star Harry Brook, who was the No.2 pick in the draft.

Rashid and Brook were the top two picks at this year’s BBL|13 Draft.

Adelaide Strikers cricket bossTim Nielsen said it is a big loss for the Adelaide Strikers side.

“Rashid is a beloved member of the Strikers and a fan favourite who has been with us for seven years, so he will be extremely missed this summer,” Nielsen said.

“Rashid loves Adelaide and the Strikers, and we know how much he loves playing in the BBL, and we support him as he has treatment for this injury to ensure his long-term involvement in the game. 

“Our list management and coaching staff will now look at our options for replacing Rashid for the upcoming season and a replacement player will be announced in due course.”

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The Adelaide Strikers will maintain retention rights for Rashid for next season’s BBL draft. Nielsen says management and staff will look into replacement options for Khan this upcoming season.

Khan has played every season with the Adelaide Strikers since bursting onto the scene back in the BBL|07 campaign as a 19-year-old.

Khan currently ranks as the world’s number-one T20 bowler, with the spinner sitting 10th on the BBL’s all-time list with 98 wickets from 69 appearances.

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