Fawad pushes through pain to deliver for Strikers
Veteran leg-spinner plays a key role in Adelaide's hunt for BBL Finals despite carrying an injury through the tournament
14 January 2022, 06:01 PM AEST
Adelaide Strikers veteran Fawad Ahmed has revealed he has been playing with a fractured rib throughout KFC BBL|11, not that you would know it on the back of his most recent performance.
Fresh off being named player of the match against his former side the Perth Scorchers with 3-30 off his four overs, the leg-spinner detailed the injury he sustained in a T20 match for Premier Cricket side Melbourne University a day before joining the Strikers.
"I think it was just before coming (to Adelaide), a day before, I played a game for Melbourne Uni in grade cricket," Fawad told Fox Cricket following the Strikers-Scorchers match.
"I dived on the boundary and it was hurting badly when I came here and started training with the Adelaide Strikers.
"I missed the first couple of games and then the first three or four games I played in huge pain.
"I'm getting a bit more pain on the side rather than on the ribs and it's swollen big time … it's still hurting, I can't dive, and I can't slide."
The Strikers' win on Friday morning put them well and truly in the finals race and was largely thanks to Fawad's three crucial wickets, with a textbook wrong-un to bowl Jason Behrendorff topping off Fawad's day.
However, Fawad said it had been a tough BBL|11 for him so far, a campaign that had only yielded three wickets in seven matches before the victory over Perth and said his ribs had significantly held him back.
"It's really hard for me especially with bowling googlies and wrong 'uns; I can't bend too much because I get too much stress on my side so it's really affecting the bowling as well," he said.
"(I) couldn’t afford to miss the whole tournament, I really wanted to play, but with the fractured rib I'm really working hard."
It hasn't been a perfect season for the Strikers either, who have spent much of the tournament in the bottom half of the ladder.
But back-to-back wins over the Brisbane Heat and now the Scorchers this week have them sitting fifth with two matches remaining, and Fawad is hoping he and the team can maintain their good form to consolidate a place in the finals.
"I'm going hard on myself to play and hopefully to play my role and to contribute win the games for the team," he said.
"It hasn’t been an ideal season for me so far, but when you work hard it pays off at some stage.
"I think hopefully if we win the next two games we'll be in the finals, so if I'm bowling the same way hopefully I'll contribute a little bit more and hopefully win the important games for the team."
With fellow leg-spinner Rashid Khan recently departing for the Strikers for international duties, the onus will be on Fawad to continue taking important wickets and lead the way with the ball for the Strikers.
They'll face the sixth-placed Melbourne Stars on Saturday in a game that will play a major role in determining the final five, before closing their regular season with a tough clash against the Sydney Sixers on Monday.