The Perth Scorchers have bolstered their pace bowling stocks by signing Pakistan seamer Yasir Arafat for the remainder of the KFC Big Bash League season. Arafat fills the vacant international signing spot made available by the withdrawal of Barbadian batsman Dwayne Smith.
Smith is expected to miss the entire tournament due to personal reasons. If Smith subsequently becomes available during the tournament, Perth can apply to the BBL Technical Committee to have him resume his place in the Scorchers’ 18-player squad.
Arafat, a 31-year-old short-form specialist, arrived in Perth Monday and is expected to be available for all remaining games of the season if required.
A decision on his inclusion in the squad for the Boxing Day Backyard Bash against Melbourne Renegades will be made by the match committee at a later date.
Arafat has played three Tests and 11 one-day internationals for Pakistan and arrives after a stint with English county side Somerset earlier in the year, where he played alongside fellow Scorchers death-bowler Alfonso Thomas.
Scorchers coach Justin Langer said the experience of Arafat would be crucial, particularly if spearhead Nathan Coulter-Nile was to be called upon for national duties. “Yasir is a very skilled cricketer and offers something similar to what Alfonso Thomas brings,” Langer said. “What we’ve found in the history of Twenty20 cricket is that bowlers who are able to execute their skills under pressure and bowl at the death are usually the first players selected.
“Having Alfonso and Yasir Arafat in the team to be able to execute those skills will be a huge bonus for us” Langer added. “We’ve also had to look at who might give us those skills in the absence of Nathan Coulter-Nile.
“Nathan is right on the fringe of Test cricket and he’s right in the reckoning of one-day cricket.”
Arafat arrives at Perth with 165 Twenty20s and 207 wickets to his name, bowling at the tight economy of 7.90. He has most recently been plying his trade in the Pakistan domestic league with Khan RL and has taken two four-wicket hauls in the past two months.
Scorchers penalised for maintaining a slow over rate
The KFC T20 Big Bash League has advised that the Perth Scorchers have been penalised for maintaining a slow over rate in their match against Brisbane Heat at the Gabba last night. After time allowances were taken into consideration, the Scorchers were assessed to be one over behind the required rate at the end of the match.
Under the BBL playing conditions, each member of the Scorchers playing XI is fined $500. If the Scorchers accept this penalty without appeal, the fine will be reduced to $250.
Scorchers captain Simon Katich also receives one strike. Another slow-over rate penalty incurred by the Scorchers this season while Katich is playing will result in him being automatically suspended for one match.
- Perth Scorchers confirm exciting rookie pair for KFC Big Bash League (cricketbadger.com)
- Big Bash kicks off with an English influence (cricketbadger.com)
- Dwayne Smith to join Perth Scorchers for Big Bash League (cricketbadger.com)
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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