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Pakistani talent shines in BBL: Rauf, Mir, and Khan secure contracts

Haris Rauf
Haris Rauf

Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) is gearing up for its 13th edition with an exciting addition of Pakistani cricket talents. Notably, three talented cricketers from Pakistan made a headline after successfully securing contracts for the upcoming BBL season among the notable nominees.

Leading the charge is the fiery fast bowler, Haris Rauf, who is poised to return to the Melbourne Stars. His previous stint with the Stars was marked by exceptional performances, where he secured an impressive tally of 30 wickets at an average of 16.40 across 18 matches.

Joining Rauf at the Melbourne Stars is the talented leg-spinner Usama Mir, who has earned his maiden BBL opportunity. Mir's exceptional performances in various T20 tournaments, including the Vitality Blast and The Hundred, have earned him a well-deserved spot in the Melbourne Stars squad. With his spin bowling expertise, he is set to support the team's bowling attack and provide a valuable spin option.

Meanwhile, another rising star from Lahore Qalandars, Zaman Khan, will debut in the BBL this summer. The 22-year-old pace bowler, who made his international debut earlier this year, has been drawing attention with his impressive performances in The Hundred and the Pakistan Super League.

Khan's selection by the Thunder in the second round is a testament to his potential, particularly his knack for excelling in the crucial death overs, a role he will share with all-rounder Daniel Sams.

Jason Sangha, a key batter for the Thunder, expressed his enthusiasm about Khan's selection. He emphasized Khan's crucial role in the team's death bowling alongside Sams.

"Death overs are so key," said Sangha to Fox Cricket. "He's a bit different, a bit more of a slingy bowler, a Lasith Malinga type. Hopefully, he can play a big part for us."

Shadab Khan's unexpected omission

On the other hand, Pakistani leg-spinner Shadab Khan, previously picked as a platinum player by the Hobart Hurricanes in the previous season, has been left out of the squad for the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season.

The 24-year-old cricket sensation was ranked No. 4 on the ICC's men's T20I all-rounder rankings. Khan had been recognized for his exceptional performance in the T20 World Cup last year. His instrumental role in guiding Pakistan to the final against England at the MCG earned him a spot in the tournament's team.

James Hopes, the assistant coach of the Hurricanes, shed light on the decision not to retain Shadab Khan. Hopes said the primary factor behind this decision was the player's availability.

"When he leaves to go to New Zealand for the one-day series (in January), we've actually only played five games," said Hopes. "That was a big factor for us."

There were expectations that Khan might be the top pick, heading to the Melbourne Stars, but the Hurricanes opted not to retain him.

A growing trend in the BBL season anticipation

The Big Bash League remains one of the world's most prominent T20 cricket tournaments. Recently, Cricket Australia unveiled the schedule for the upcoming BBL, with the competition slated to kick off on December 7, 2023, until January 24, 2024.

Although the BBL is still a few months away, anticipation is building among fans, particularly due to the possibility of the league's second-midweek finale in history. This heightened excitement is not limited to the cricket field; it is also evident in the growing popularity of cricket's Simulated Reality League (SRL) in various countries.

In this era of advancing technology, fans are discovering fresh avenues to indulge in their favourite pastimes, be it through video games, sports, or even wagering. Leveraging computer analytics, simulated reality technology, and machine learning, sports enthusiasts have paved the way for the emergence of Cricket SRL.

As the name suggests, the SRL offers a computer-generated rendition of beloved cricket leagues. Whether it's the Big Bash League SRL, the Pakistan Super League, the Indian Premier League, or an entirely original SRL built solely on data, the possibilities are limitless. Notably, the SRL's popularity is on the rise, not only within the cricket fan community but also in sports betting.

The Big Bash League SRL betting can now be done with Bitcoin. Some platforms even extend support to alternative cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Tether. The adoption of cryptocurrencies in betting has surged primarily due to their ability to facilitate real-time deposits and withdrawals for players.