Adelaide Strikers star Rashid Khan is determined to play out the remainder of the Big Bash League despite the recent death of his father. Rashid's father died on Sunday night, just hours before he took the field in the Strikers' New Year's Eve win over Sydney Thunder in Adelaide.
The 20-year-old legspinner took 2 for 34 in the 20-run win over the Thunder. He returned to his absolute best against the Melbourne Renegades in Geelong on Thursday, thumping 21 not out from seven balls before taking 1 for 18 from his four overs.
Rashid said his family had encouraged him to stay in Australia and play for the Strikers after his father's death. "It was tough," Rashid said. "I lost my dad, the one who is very close to us and to my family. He really supported us. He struggled a lot while giving up (a lot) with how he (raised) us.
"He was always watching my games. He didn't understand cricket a lot but he just was always asking my family how I had done.
"It happens. It's life. In this situation my family has really supported me. Especially my mum, my brothers, my nephews. They were encouraging me a lot from back home.
"They were calling me again and again. They were (saying), 'you have to be there, you have to play for us, you have to play for your dad. We can see you're sad, you're alone there, you're (a long way) from home'.
"That's how their motivation helped me to stay here and play for the Strikers."
Rashid also paid credit to Renegades allrounder and Afghanistan team-mate Mohammad Nabi, as well as the entire Strikers squad, for helping him through the last week.
"I spoke with him (Nabi) a lot. He said, 'it's life. Someone will go, someone will come. We all will go one day. It's not like we will be here for all of time'," Rashid said.
"The way the team, my captain, my coaches, my management, the way they (supported) me has been great.
"They were in my room until late (after the New Year's Eve game) encouraging me. I really love that. That kept me alive there. They were coming to me and hugging me."
He also revealed he had turned down the chance to play in the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League in order to remain in Australia, citing his preparation for the World T20 in Australia in 2020 as a priority.
"I was approached as well to go there but I always preferred to go to Big Bash," Rashid said. "I love it. I love being here. It's absolutely different conditions for you as a bowler.
"We are always playing in Asia, if you (play) outside of Asia, it's something else for you, it's something new each and every day.
"The T20 World Cup is here. It's good preparation for us, for me as well, to be well prepared for the World Cup."