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Arafat Bhuiyan joins Kent after graduating from SACA programme

Bangladesh-born fast bowler goes straight into XI to face Surrey in County Championship

General view of the action at the St Lawrence Ground, England Lions vs South Africans, Tour match, Canterbury, August 9, 2022

Bhuiyan will be playing for Kent at the St Lawrence Ground this summer  •  Getty Images

Arafat Bhuiyan, a British-Bangladeshi seam bowler, has become the seventh graduate of the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA) to sign professional terms, after joining Kent for the remainder of the 2023 season.
Bhuiyan was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but has UK residency, and has taken 17 wickets for Kent's second XI, including best figures of 4 for 81 against Hampshire earlier this month. He made his first-class debut in Kent's ongoing fixture against Surrey at the Kia Oval.
He currently plays his club cricket in the Kent Premier League for Blackheath, and has also featured for Surrey, Essex and Derbyshire's Second XIs in the past six years, as well as stints for MCC's Young Cricketers side in 2019, and SACA this year.
"I'm over the moon to have signed for Kent," Bhuiyan said. "It's a dream come true to become a professional cricketer and I feel all my hard work has paid off.
"I'm grateful to Kent, especially Second XI Coach Mark Dekker, for the faith they have showed in me, and hope I can perform well if given the opportunity."
Bhuiyan moved to Birmingham to be part of SACA's winter training programme, and credited that experience for fast-tracking his professional ambitions.
"I would also like to thank Dr Tom Brown from SACA for giving me the opportunity to train and for accommodating me during the Winter in Birmingham," he said. "I can't speak highly enough about the amount of work he is putting into this programme."
Kent's Director of Cricket, Paul Downton, added: "Arafat comes highly recommended from our pathway coaches and has impressed with his pace and control with the ball for us this year. He brings much-needed depth to our bowling attack as we head into a busy period of the season."