Rashid pulls out of BBL|13 for back surgery

A massive blow for the Adelaide Strikers with Afghanistan leg-spin whiz Rashid Khan to skip the tournament with injury

The Adelaide Strikers have been rocked by news that Rashid Khan will miss this summer's KFC BBL with a back injury that requires surgery.

The Strikers announced today that Rashid required a "minor operation" and had withdrawn from the season.

It's a second major blow for the BBL after the Melbourne Stars announced last week that Harry Brook had pulled out of the competition.

Rashid and Brook were the top two picks at this year's KFC BBL|13 Draft, the second such event.

Last summer's draft was also hit with top picks pulling out, including No.1 pick England's Liam Livingstone.

Adelaide Strikers GM of Cricket Tim Nielsen said it was a big loss to be without the leg-spinner who had played for the club since BBL|07 in 2017-18.

"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.

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"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."

Rashid had threatened last January that he was "strongly considering" not returning to the KFC BBL in protest over Cricket Australia cancelling a scheduled ODI series against Afghanistan.

Rashid has played every season with the Adelaide Strikers since bursting onto the scene as a 19-year-old to be the leading wicket-taker in BBL|07.

Rashid was Afghanistan's leading wicket-taker at the recently concluded men's ODI World Cup with 11 wickets in nine games, with a best of 3-37 and economy of 4.48. He is the Strikers all-time leading wicket-taker with 98 in 69 games.

The Adelaide Strikers will maintain retention rights for Rashid for next season's BBL draft.

Best of Rashid Khan's batting in the BBL

This season, however, they will look to fellow leg-spinner Cameron Boyce to try and fill the void. Boyce returned to Adelaide ahead of last summer's BBL|12 for his second stint with the club and collected five wickets in six games with an economy of 6.95.

The Strikers also have off-spinning allrounder Matt Short – who is currently representing Australia during their T20 tour of India – and Ben Manenti to supply additional overs of spin throughout the season.

The club is also permitted to sign other overseas players to replace Rashid.

The nature of Rashid's back injury remains clouded. It is unclear what his return to cricket looks like, and if he will be fit to play in other T20 franchise competitions this summer.

Last year, after finishing his stint with the Strikers in early January, Rashid played for Mumbai Indians-owned franchises in both the SA20 and ILT20 competitions.

Afghanistan's next bilateral series is a three-match T20 tour of India beginning on January 11.

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