Saad bin Zafar, the Canada left-arm spinning allrounder, has been called into the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots squad as a replacement player for the CPL 2018 playoffs. Saad comes in following Bangladesh allrounder Mahmudullah's departure for the Asia Cup in the UAE. Saad left on Monday night for Guyana, where Patriots face Jamaica Tallawahs in Wednesday's Eliminator.
Saad, 31, made his Canada debut in 2008, after moving from Pakistan as a teenager. He was one of the top performers in domestic cricket, and one of only two players, along with Nitish Kumar of Toronto Nationals, to play every match for the champions Vancouver Knights in the recent Global T20 Canada tournament.
Saad scored an unbeaten 79 off 48 balls and took 2 for 26 with the ball to be Man of the Match in the final, playing for a Knights side led by Chris Gayle, who also happens to be the captain of the Patriots in the CPL. Aside from Gayle, other teammates from the Knights whom Saad will be joining as part of the Patriots are Rassie van der Dussen, Evin Lewis and Sheldon Cottrell.
Saad's selection makes him the second North American player to have his stock rise through performances in the Global T20 Canada. USA's Ali Khan was brought into Trinbago Knight Riders squad as a replacement for Ronsford Beaton after a solid season with Winnipeg Hawks, and finished the league phase tied fourth overall in the season with 14 wickets in nine matches. Khan was subsequently one of five Associate players picked in the Afghanistan Premier League draft on Monday, snapped up by the Kabul franchise led by Rashid Khan.