Afghanistan legspinner Rashid Khan has become one of T20 cricket's hottest commodities, playing in franchise leagues in India, England, Australia, Bangladesh, the UAE and the Caribbean. Having been snapped up by Durban Heat as their international marquee signing for the inaugural Mzansi Super League, Rashid will now be playing in South Africa for the first time.
"I am so excited to be playing in the first edition of the Mzansi Super League," Rashid said. "I have never played cricket in South Africa before and I have only heard great things. South Africans are passionate about cricket and I am looking forward to experiencing a new country and culture."
While Rashid has never played in South Africa, his Big Bash League stats in similar conditions and excellence in a variety of conditions elsewhere suggest he will adapt very quickly. Rashid was Adelaide Strikers' leading wicket-taker in the last BBL, with 18 wickets and an economy rate of under a run a ball. "It is going to be a new environment for me but I think that my experience of playing in different conditions will enable me to adapt to the situation and conditions," he said.
Rashid's formidable performances in international cricket have seen him rise to the very top of the ICC's T20I bowling rankings. He has also enjoyed plenty of success in one-day international cricket, and is currently ranked second in that format.
"I've got to No. 1 by sticking to my game plan and that is what I will always do," Rashid said. "T20 is a game that can change very quickly and not every game is going to go your way, and I will just do my best to try and win matches for my team."
Rashid's experience in T20 leagues around the world has allowed him to play alongside - and against - some of the best players in the world, and he said he was also looking forward to adding the likes of Hashim Amla and David Miller to the list of quality players he has shared a change room with.
"The beauty of T20 franchise cricket is the world-class players that you play with and against. To be playing with the likes of Hashim and David is great and I look forward to joining up with them and the rest of the team."