Richmondshire Cricket Club have announced the signing of Afghan leg spinning allrounder Shafiqullah Ghafari as their overseas professional for 2022.
Shafiqullah, 20, first came to attention with a sensational debut in the U19 World Cup two years ago taking six for 15 against the hosts South Africa.
He went on to take 16 for 92 across the tournament with an economy of 2.45, becoming the tournament’s leading wicket taker and playing a large part in Afghanistan finishing seventh in the tournament.
He has since played domestic cricket in Afghanistan, either side of the pandemic.
Most recently he was part of Band-e-Amir Region’s run to the Ahmad Shah Abdali 4-Day Tournament final, where he filled the role as an allrounder
Batting in the middle order, he has chalked up two half-centuries and a first-class average of 28.22.
He was picked for Barbados Tridents in last year’s Caribbean Premier League auction alongside West Indies test stars Jason Holder, Shai Hope and Oshane Thomas.
However, he was unable to play due to visa difficulties.
The club’s first team captain Bob Carr said: “It had been hoped that last year’s professional Ajay Mandal would return this summer, but this has not proved possible.
“We are therefore excited to have secured the signing of Shafiqullah, who at the age of just 20 has a great career ahead of him.”