Sydney Thunder sign Usman Qadir to bolster spin attack

Usman Qadir sent back Josh Inglis and Marnus Labuschagne Associated Press

Sydney Thunder have signed Pakistan legspinner Usman Qadir to bolster their bowling attack for the BBL.

He will chiefly provide cover for Tanveer Sangha who has yet to play this season due a stress fracture of his back. Qadir is the fourth overseas player on Thunder's list alongside Alex Hale, Rilee Rossouw and Fazalhaq Farooqi with a team able to field three in an XI.

Farooqi, the Afghanistan quick bowler, was a recent signing after David Willey withdrew from his deal having been Thunder's platinum signing in the overseas player draft earlier this year.

Qadir, who has played 23 T20Is for Pakistan, has previous BBL experience having played for Perth Scorchers and three years ago had declared an ambition to play for Australia before pursuing his international career with Pakistan.

His record for Scorchers was modest with six wickets in seven matches with an economy rate of 8.45. He was a reserve player for Pakistan at the recent T20 World Cup in Australia.

"Usman joins us with plenty of experience, having represented Pakistan, and playing in T20 leagues around the world," Andrew Gilchrist, the head of Sydney Thunder, said. "Importantly, he has firsthand knowledge of Australian conditions, he played for Western Australia and South Australia's Futures League, so he knows what to expect."

Thunder begin their BBL campaign on the opening day of the tournament against Melbourne Stars in Canberra.

Qadir's father, Abdul, who died in 2019, was recently inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

Sydney Thunder squad Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Usman Qadir, Alex Ross, Rilee Rossouw, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner.