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Afghanistan leg-spinner Qais Ahmad re-joins Kent Cricket for next summer's T20 Blast campaign

Qais Ahmad will be back at Kent Spitfires next year to help their bid to retain their T20 Blast title.

The Afghanistan international leg-spinner, who made 12 appearances during their 2021 campaign, will be available for all of next summer's T20 Blast.

Qais Ahmad will be back with Kent for their 2022 T20 Blast campaign. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Qais Ahmad will be back with Kent for their 2022 T20 Blast campaign. Picture: Barry Goodwin

He took 10 wickets this summer with an impressive economy rate of 6.65 - the fourth-best economy of any bowler in the competition to play 10 or more matches.

Memorable performances from Ahmad included his spell of 2-13 in the Spitfires’ quarter-final against Birmingham Bears, and 2-19 in the final against Somerset as Kent won by 25 runs at Edgbaston.

Ahmad said: “I really enjoyed my first season as a Kent Spitfire and I’m excited to come back for another season.

"Winning the Blast was very special and is something I will always look back on with pride.

“It’s a great dressing room at Kent and I’m looking forward to linking-up with the rest of the squad again as we look to defend our title.”

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton said: “We are delighted that Qais will be returning to play for us again for the duration of the 2022 Blast.

“Having a leg-spinner of Qais’ quality in our side was a major factor in our ability to contain the opposition’s run-rate and, ultimately, win matches in our title-winning run.

"He is a wicket-taker in the crucial middle overs and had a stand-out economy rate.

“He is a very popular figure within our dressing room, as well as with our members and supporters, and we all look forward to welcoming Qais back next season.”

On Twitter, Kent head coach Matt Walker welcomed his return, writing: "Fantastic news. Great to have you back again @imqaisahmadd!"

Ahmad, originally from Kabul, was praised by Walker after playing his part in Kent's 21-run quarter-final victory over Birmingham - despite personal issues in his native Afghanistan.

At the time, Walker said: "The very fact he made himself available for our quarter-final - you talk about pride and complete humanity, and I was completely blown away that he wanted to play the game but also how well he performed with everything that is going on around him.

"Words don’t really express what that meant to the group."

The 21-year-old has experience of playing in T20 leagues around the world and is currently with Melbourne Stars for the Big Bash League in Australia.

Last month, Kent announced New Zealand international bowler Matt Henry is expected to join up with the team from July 10 next year for up to seven County Championship matches and for the Royal London Cup.

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