Zahoor Khan makes UAE cricket history after being selected for Quetta Gladiators in PSL

Fast bowler called up as a late replacement player for Andre Russell before match against Lahore Qalandars

Zahoor Khan in actio for Deccan Gladiators. Deccan Gladiators v Maratha Arabians. Abu Dhabi T10 Season 4. Stage 2. Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. 4th February 2021. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Cricket
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Zahoor Khan will become the first UAE cricketer to play in a major franchise tournament after being selected for Quetta Gladiators to face Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League.

The UAE fast bowler was only announced as an addition to the Quetta squad less than an hour before the 5pm start of the game at Zayed Cricket Stadium.

He was called up as a replacement player for Andre Russell, the Jamaican all-rounder.

When that announcement was being confirmed on social media, Zahoor was out on the middle, practicing his bowling alongside the rest of the Quetta attack.

Within 20 minutes, he had been named in the starting XI, completing an overseas trio for Quetta that also includes South African Cameron Delport and Australian Jake Weatherald.

Zahoor’s call-up is a historic moment for the game in the Emirates. He will become the first UAE player to feature in a game in a leading T20 competition.

There are two other players in PSL squads. Mohammed Wasim, an uncapped UAE batsman, and Sultan Ahmed, the left-arm spinner, have been called up as replacement players for the Abu Dhabi leg of the PSL.

Wasim is part of the Multan Sultans squad and yet to bat, while Sultan Ahmed has yet to get his chance in a formidable Lahore bowling attack.

Chirag Suri, the UAE opener, was also part of the Gujarat Lions squad at the 2017 IPL. Although he did briefly make it on to the field in a match in Delhi at that tournament, he did not have any official playing participation in it.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Shahid Afridi has been ruled out of the tournament due to the back injury which stopped him from flying to the UAE.