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Wil Parker to fill Qais Ahmad's shoes at Hobart Hurricanes

The 18-year-old legspinner has secured his first BBL deal

Daniel Brettig
Daniel Brettig
Qais Ahmed bowls  •  Brett Hemmings/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Qais Ahmed bowls  •  Brett Hemmings/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Teenaged Victorian wristspinner Wil Parker's signing with Hobart Hurricanes will see him replace Qais Ahmad after the club decided against extending their deal with the Afghanistan legspinner.
Parker, who made his state debut for Victoria last summer as an 18-year-old and chose cricket over a possible Australian football career in the process, is considered highly promising among legspinners in the state system.
However, the careful balance required in mentoring such a young cricketer was underlined by how he was permitted to stay at home in Melbourne to conclude his secondary school education this year rather than being part of the Sheffield Shield squad to play two games in Adelaide.
Such responsibilities will now lie with the Hurricanes and their coach Adam Griffith, who chose Parker to form the spin bowling component of the Hobart attack after deciding not to continue with Qais, who burst onto the BBL scene with seven wickets at 12.71 from three games in 2018-19 but found the going harder last year when he collected 12 wickets at 33.91 at 8.14 runs per over from 15 games.
Mentored by the noted spin bowling coach Craig Howard, Parker will need to find a balance between the requirements of T20 matches and the longer formats, a skill that has been aptly demonstrated by the Queensland and Brisbane Heat legspinner Mitchell Swepson, among others.
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Hurricanes program", Parker said. "The Big Bash is one of the best T20 competitions in the world and to have the chance to play with and against the best players in the world is a dream come true. It's a huge opportunity for me to work with Adam and the coaching staff to develop my game over the next two seasons."
Griffith noted that any spin bowler who can turn the ball both ways is a valued asset during the BBL.
"Wil is a young spinner who came onto the scene last year for Victoria, but we have been following his development for some time now", Griffith said. "We are always on the lookout for young talented players to give an opportunity to, and I am looking forward to seeing what he can do at this level. Spinners who can take the ball both ways off the wicket are important to have on your list and he can definitely do this."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig