Walker proud of Afghan spinner
Walker proud of Afghan spinner

Following the Kent Spitfires’ win over the Birmingham Bears to reach T20 Finals Day, coach Matt Walker has been reflecting on a fabulous night at the Spitfire Ground and had particular praise for Afghan spinner Qais Ahmad.

Whilst Sam Billings and Daniel Bell Drummond both hit half centuries, Matt Milnes took the bowling plaudits with his four wickets as the Spitfires completed a Southern quartet for Finals Day. 

For many though the real hero was Afghanistan spinner Qais Ahmad, and the coach has special praise for his young overseas star whose magnificent spell of two for thirteen from his four overs turned the game the Spitfires way against the backdrop of the horrendous recent events in his homeland.

“I don’t think you can put his performance into words really,” Walker told us, “you just can’t relate to what he’s going through at the moment. It’s a horrific situation for a young man who’s over here whilst his family are back in Afghanistan with everything that’s going on over there – you can’t begin to imagine whats going through his mind with the turmoil and the worry with the anxiety that he must be feeling…”

“And then to play in such a big game for all of us and put in a performance like that I think speaks volumes of him as a human being!”

“He managed to throw himself into the evening and distract himself enough to put in a performance like that. I said after the game that I think everyone raised their caps to him because we can’t understand what he’s going through.”

“You understand what’s going on, but you can’t imagine it – you just can’t put yourself in that position! He’s in this awful situation of unknowing and worrying and we will be forever grateful to him to play, and he made such a difference as he does as he’s a world class bowler and to have him available and play and put in a performance like that was exceptional.”

“Everyone has a huge amount of respect for Qais anyway but to do that in such testing times was beyond anything we could have imagined from a player.”

“I’m thrilled for him that he could put in a match winning performance and for me he really is right up there as a bloke and what he’s done for this club.”

Walker wouldn’t be drawn on the young spinner’s participation at Edgbaston on Finals Day.

Picture supplied by Kent Cricket.