County Cricket Club Sussex Cricket on Thursday, December 16, announced that they have roped in Pakistani wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan for the majority of the 2022 season. Mohammad Rizwan will join Sussex following Australia’s tour of Pakistan, which ends in early April. After that, he’ll be available for both Championship and T20 cricket until the Vitality Blast concludes in mid-July.
Regarded as one of the finest keepers of the current times, Rizwan also boasts of an impeccable batting record. The 29-year old averages over 43 in first-class cricket with 5395 runs under his belt while including almost 972 runs in 19 Test matches at an average of over 42.
During Pakistan’s three-match Test series against England in 2020, he averaged over 40, was awarded Pakistan’s player of the series and was praised by Nasser Hussain as “the greatest for a long, long time” when it came to touring wicketkeeper.
The wicket-keeper batter averages 50.06 with the bat in 54 T20Is, with a strike rate of 126.6. He had a fantastic year in 2021, becoming the first batter to score over 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year and breaking Chris Gayle’s six-year-old record for most T20 runs scored in a calendar year.
He was also the third greatest run-scorer in the last ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, hitting 281 runs in six innings to help Pakistan reach the semi-finals, and is currently ranked fourth-best batter in men’s T20Is by the ICC.
“Dear Sussex Family, assalamu alaikum. I am absolutely honoured and excited to be a part of the historic Sussex County Cricket Club for the 2022 season. I have always heard great things about the Sussex community and this family club was always close to my heart,” said Rizwan upon joining Sussex Cricket.
“In my heart, I know our young team has the potential to beat any team. Our strength lies in our hard work, honesty, deep commitment, and self-belief: we can win, we will win, and we will play like champions, no matter what! In shaa Allah, I look forward to a great season.”
Ian Salisbury, Sussex’s Championship and One-Day Head Coach, said: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really disappointed to learn we’d be losing a player of Ben Brown’s quality. Now that has happened, though, we have to look forward and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to act quickly over the last week or so to secure the services of one of the world’s best keeper-batters as a replacement.
“Mohammad’s first-class and Test records speak for themselves and it’s a huge coup to welcome him to Sussex for a big chunk of next season’s Championship. As well as his playing credentials, it’s clear from speaking to people like Mushy [Mushtaq Ahmed] and Saqlain [Mushtaq] that Mohammad will also be a wonderful addition to the dressing room.”