Wed, 20 Oct 2021

Sydney [Australia], September 16 (ANI): Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Sydney Thunder on Thursday announced the signing of English pacer Saqib Mahmood.

The 24-year-old from Lancashire in England's north-west, crowned a stunning three-match showing against Pakistan last July by being named Player of the Series after capturing nine wickets at an average of 13.66, and at a tight economy rate of 4.39.

Adding to Mahmood's memorable effort was his claiming a wicket with the first and last delivery of his series. Testimony to his impact was the respect with which Babar Azam, one of the world's leading batsmen, treated his right-arm bowling.

Mahmood, who said he "jumped" at the chance to join the Usman Khawaja-led Sydney Thunder, says he knows only one way to go about his business - and it ought to excite BBL spectators around the country.

"My approach to bowling is always taking the positive option, the brave option. It's obviously aligned to confidence, because when your confidence is up, you're more likely to take those options. But for me, it's always about trying to take that positive aggressive option to take wickets," said Mahmood in an official release.

"I just try to be smart and bowl what the game requires at the time. It's also always about giving 100 percent all the time... trying to let it go as fast as quickly as I can," he added.

Mahmood, who this summer joins fellow Englishmen Alex Hales and Sam Billings (who was his captain at the Oval Invincibles in the Hundred) in Thunder's colours, said it had long been a dream of his to play in Australia's premier T20 competition.

"You see full houses; you see close games; the standard of cricket is high, and you get some really good overseas players," he said. "It's a high-class tournament."Mahmood added that he thrived on the high expectations that were placed on him as Peshawar Zalmi's international signing during the 2020/21 Pakistan Super League season.

He captured 15 wickets from only six matches, but said the expectations place upon him after he took a local seamer's spot, brought out his best fighting qualities.

"That got the best out of me because I knew I was a big part of the team - obviously a key member of that side," he said. (ANI)

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