The leg-spinning, willow-wielding allrounder, last year named the best performer in the shortest form of the game on the planet, was never in doubt to return to the city and team he loves, but today the genius from Afghanistan makes it a certainty.
Currently representing Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, Rashid has reiterated his love for the city of Adelaide, as well as the passionate Strikers fans from around the country and the world, on numerous occasions throughout his years in blue.
“I won’t leave this club. I love Adelaide, the fans, the team, everyone. It is a great honour for me to be here playing for the Strikers. I love playing in front of the beautiful crowd at Adelaide Oval, it is one of my favourite grounds in the world. Especially New Years. That is a night I always have in my mind; I always want to play that night.
“There is so much love from the crowd. Not only during games but always when I am in Adelaide. The fans give me so much love and respect and I try to give my best performance to brings smiles to their faces.”
With ball in hand as a Striker, Rash’s numbers show 50 games, 72 wickets, 105 dot balls, an average of 17.46 and a strike rate of 16.19. On the other side of the coin, he has 314 runs at a strike rate of 155.45 including 20 sixes. The mercurial talent’s BBL resume also includes 13 catches taken in the field.
These numbers, while remarkable, only tell a small portion of the Rashid Khan story. Poised to wear blue for a fifth season, Khan has become much more to the Strikers than a leading wicket-taker and star attraction. A genuine star across multiple international competitions, Rash brings unparalleled experience alongside an attitude for the game that provides benefit both on and off the field.
Strikers Head Coach Jason Gillespie pointed to the seemingly unending value that Rash pours into the Strikers when discussing the re-signing.
“It’s nice to have him locked away. He is just a wonderful human being, and he is part of the furniture here at the Strikers now. We are delighted to have his presence and his leadership. He might not have the ‘c’ next to his name, but players look up to him because he is such a respectful young man who loves playing for the Adelaide Strikers.”
As cricket continues to evolve in the crash and bash era of fast entertainment, international players regularly change the colour of their playing kit, but for Rash, there is only one choice when it comes to the KFC Big Bash.
“We are delighted that Rash sees Adelaide as his home in Australia. As his franchise. That is just amazing and hopefully we can continue the relationship for a very long time. That is such a nice thing. The T20 world does lend itself to players chopping and changing teams all the time, but to have a player who is so keen to be a one club player in our country is just fantastic.
“His loyalty to us is absolutely brilliant. He loves the team, the city, he loves our fans. He always talks about how he wants to put on a show for the fans. What more could we ever want as a franchise? The best T20 player in the world desperately wants to play for us. That is gold. Simple as that. We are thankful that he has continually chosen to be part of our family. We love him.”